A rumor I’ve seen flying around sourced from Wall Street Journal is that apple is investigating a new way to charge the iPhone 6. It does not sound like they will replacing the charger, but changing the way it charges entirely. I think this could be either an exciting or frustrating step for iPhone users. I believe that this means they are looking at either inductive charging, or the more exciting approach of kinetic energy charging .
Why Apple would go with Inductive Charging
The only real reason an iPhone needs to be plugged in anymore is to charge it. Apple took care in pushing some new technologies with the introduction of the iPhone 4 to make sure you can have an iPhone without a computer. Could this have been also in preparation of the next step? If the iPhone charged inductively there would never be any reason to plug it into anything. No Cords, No Mess, No Hassle.
According to the Wall Street Journal Chrysler announced that the 2013 Dodge Dart will come with the capability of charging devices wirelessly. This could be a major sign that Apple is talking with it’s partners about upcoming technology. Chryslers move to wireless charging may also mean that apple is not the only cell phone manufacturer that is considering wireless charging. I believe Chrysler will most likely be using the existing wireless standard created by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) . Apple could go with the standard as well , but another interesting an viable option is on the horizon at intel.
Intel is working on a new technology they are calling Wireless Resonant Energy Link (WREL). As I understand it, the system uses a transmitter and receiver. The Transmitter resonates to the receiver which is properly tuned to receive the resonating magnetic field. Through this method , there is much less loss of energy, and the orientation of your device is much less critical than conventional inductive charging methods. The Impact is that an iPhone owner can walk around the house with an iPhone in their pocket and simultaneously charge it.
The Down side of Inductive Charging is the possible the loss of the charging port. This would upset a lot of people who went out and payed five hundred bucks to have an iPhone port added to their vehicles. Hopefully iPhone will offer a completely wireless method with the option of plugging it in if needed or desired. In order to make the new iPhone thinner however, It may be necessary to ditch the current method charging method for the sake of saving space.
Why Apple Would go with Kinetic Charging
Battery life is a topic that can sway a cell phone purchaser tremendously. Looking at many of the available phones on the Android market with 4G capability, while having great data speed, also have a very serious drawback of low battery life. Long battery life is a staple in all of Apple’s products. Kinetic charging could be just what Apple needs in order to move to a 4G chip and maintain good battery life.
I Think initially kinetic charging would be a supplemental charging system to another primary charging system. A system that would be intended to extend the amount of time necessary between charges rather than the only way to charge it. I don’t think anyone would be too pleased if they had to shake their phone like a Faraday Flashlight.
There are a few companies already playing around with kinetic charging for handheld devices. The Most notable of which is Nokia. According to an article I found on Engadget’s website , Nokia Is pursuing a patent for a cell phone charging system similar to they same technology in high end watches using piezoelectrics.
I Feel that the most logical step would be to go with an inductive charging step set forth by the WPC, but Apple has never had a track record for following convention either. Apple also has a track record of adopting new Intel technologies. I don’t think it would be very far fetched to see the WREL technology in the iPhone 6.
Any comments and insights are always welcome. If you have any ideas or heard of something we haven’t. Comment and if we like what we see we’ll post it.
Welsh, Jonathan. Dodge Dart Will Introduce Cord-Free Phone Charging (Video). Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/04/09/dodge-dart-will-introduce-wireless-charging-video/
Luk, Loraine and Iwataini, Yukari Kane. Apple Readies New iPhone. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303544604576429292482910586.html
Savov, Vlad. Nokia wants patent on self-regenerating phone batteries, piezoelectrics and much magic involved. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/08/nokia-wants-patent-on-self-regenerating-phone-batteries-piezoel/
Makare, Jerry. Wireless Resonant Energy Link (WREL) Demo . Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://software.intel.com/en-us/videos/channel/general/wireless-resonant-energy-link-wrel-demo/1127589936001