Apple patents method to wirelessly charge your iPhone over Wi-Fi

Apple AirPort Express
Apple AirPort Express

Apple’s wireless charging plans for the iPhone 8 are pretty well-known at this point of time, but there’s no consensus on how exactly it’s going to introduce the technology. Some believe it’ll stick to current standards like Qi which require a stand to supply energy, while others hope for long-range solutions that allow the handset to fuel up at a distance.

There’s now hope for the latter thanks to an Apple patent which went public recently. Titled ‘Wireless Charging and Communications Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas,’ the document was first filed in 2015. It talks about a device which can beam out Wi-Fi signals that deliver data and simultaneously charge up an iPhone.

This super 2-in-1 Wi-Fi router could transfer power over suitable wireless bands such as 700MHz and 2700MHz, in addition to Wi-Fi signals operating at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It works via a system of wireless circuitry, with the transmitter and receiver both fitted with dual-frequency dual-polarization patch antennas.

Also See: iPhone 8 pops up on Geekbench

Interestingly, the patent mentions that these patch antennas could take on various shapes such as rectangular and oval. The second option is particularly relevant since an iPhone 8 schematic which got leaked just a few days ago featured a mysterious circular portion that many suggested could have something to do with wireless charging.

Sadly, Apple’s patent doesn’t dive into the specifics of this device, mostly restricting itself to the theory of wireless power transmission. It’s important to note that the company is known for filing several patents which never see the light of day.

As such, there’s no guarantee long-distance charging will make its way to the iPhone 8, especially since the tech behind it is still at a nascent stage.