Your new Apple iPhones, iPads and smart watches could charge themselves through WiFi routers soon.
Apple has been granted another patent which will allow the company’s devices to charge without the need of cables or charging docks — all it would need are WiFi routers, ZDNetreported.
The iPhone-maker had filed the patent on October 23, 2015 and it was later made public by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.
The patent application describes a system that can take advantage of the wireless signals emitted by routers to charge electronic devices.
Theoretically, the router would use dual polarisation and dual frequency antennas to physically locate devices, focus the signal there, and transfer power over a range of frequencies, including cellular (700 MHz to 2700 MHz), Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz to 5 GHz), and millimeter wave (10 GHz to 400 GHz).
Apple has not provided any clear indication that it is working on a router that could provide both gigabit Wi-Fi and power at the same time. Last year, the company reportedly abandoned its AirPort routers, which used beam steering antennas similar to what’s detailed in the patent application.
In 2015, prior to Apple filing its patent application, the University of Washington had developed a way to broadcast power to remote devices using Wi-Fi.
The university’s approach was to connect an antenna to a temperature sensor, place it near a Wi-Fi router, and measure the resulting voltages in the device and how long it can operate on this remote power source alone.
Apple itself has been investigating wireless charging methods for some time, with numerous other patents having been granted to the company over the years. In 2014, the company received approval for a method that involves using wireless near-field magnetic resonance to transmit power in a computing environment.