A new patent application filed by Apple suggests that it is looking to add some interesting new functionality to the Smart Cover case for the iPad.
The patent discovered by AppleInsider reveals that Apple may be working on a Smart Cover with embedded battery to wirelessly recharge the iPad.
At first blush, Apple’s invention, aptly titled “Integrated inductive charging in protective cover,” appears to simply be a first-party incarnation of upcoming products that use inductive charging to transfer power to an iOS device. These components usually incorporate an induction coil and transformer that outputs power via a cord plugged into the device’s dock connector. Apple’s patent filing describes something different.
Instead of sourcing power from a stationary dock, Apple’s invention calls for a tablet case, or more specifically an iPad Smart Cover, to hold the inductive power transmitter. In some embodiments, an internal battery is disposed within the case, basically creating an “on-the-go” wireless charger.
The patent goes on to explain how the smart cover will start charing the iPad using inductive charging when the cover is closed. The Smart Cover however needs to be charged conventionally by plugging it into a power source via USB. The patent does mention that solar cells could also be embedded in the cover.
While the idea of charging the Smart Cover using the conventional method, which will then recharge the iPad isn’t the wireless charging solution we may be looking for, it seems like a neat concept for a battery extender for the iPad.
Last week a report claimed that Apple could add wireless charging to the iPhone in 2013 so it will be really interesting to see how Apple plans to add the wireless charging feature (if at all it does). I am not a big fan of the current wireless charging systems for smartphones as they still need to be plugged into a wall and need the devices to be placed on a charging mat or pod.
Anyways, coming back to this patent, let me know what you think of the possibility of the Smart Cover that also allows you to recharge your iPad.