Future MacBooks Might Have Wireless Charging in Palm Rests
According to new patents from Patently Apple, Apple could be playing with the idea of including wireless reverse charging in its products. The patents suggest the use of two-way charging coils in places like the trackpad, palm rest, and the rear case of MacBook laptops.
As can be seen below, the diagrams in the patent suggest that Apple is considering what Samsung has already achieved with QI wireless charging in the Galaxy Book Flex’s trackpad. You can see an iPhone and Apple Watch on the palm rest of the MacBook where it appears to have inductive charging coils. A secondary diagram also shows the back case of an iPad, with the Apple Watch and an iPhone also charging. So there’s still a chance that this isn’t just true of MacBooks.
The patents are from two separate applications in the US Patent and Trademark Office. Both are entitled “Inductive charging between electronic devices”. In typical language, Apple states that the patent relates to “an electronic device and method for inductively charging an electronic device using another external electronic device”.
Apple also describes the common problem of using cables and external power for charging, especially when traveling. This is impractical, according to Apple. “For example, some devices can be charged using a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port or a cable. Despite standardized connections and cables, each device may require a separate or dedicated power supply for charging. In some cases, use, storage and / or transportation can be a separate power supply for each device, ”the patent states.
Patents don’t always turn into end products so chances are this will never come to life, but Samsung got it. The Galaxy Book Flex has a QI charger in the trackpad. Select Galaxy phones also have the Wireless PowersShare feature, which allows you to charge other devices, such as earbuds, by tapping the back of the phone.
While all iPhones starting with the iPhone 8 offer support for wireless QI charging (and the iPhone 12 series Magsafe), you cannot “share” the power supply for charging your other devices. However, FCC records indicate that the new iPhone 12 may have a hidden, non-activated feature that can wirelessly reverse charge other devices like AirPods or the Apple Watch like the Galaxy phones.