As enchanting as it may sound,A new patent filing by Apple indicates that the company is investigating the possibility of one day wirelessly charging devices over a variety of radio frequencies, including cellular (between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz), Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), and millimeter wave (between 10 GHz and 400 GHz), as spotted by Apple Insider.
Apple is making some serious discovery here.
Detailed in Apple’s patent application for “Wireless Charging and Communications Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas” is a method for transferring power to electronic devices over frequencies normally dedicated to data communications.
In addition to the more standard antenna bands, the patent also specifically quotes transmitting power through the 60 GHz wavelength used by the WiGig 802.11ad standard. Aforementioned makes a lot of sense as a high-frequency choice given that WiGig is a formalized standard that is likely closer to hardware adoption than other millimeter wave solutions.
Obviously, it’s worth mentioning that this is only a patent, not an indication that Apple is indeed working on a magical router that can give you gigabit Wi-Fi and charge your iPhone simultaneously from across a room. Still, the idea of doubling up the antennas used for Wi-Fi and cellular data to wirelessly charge devices is a clever one, even if actual long distance wireless charging is still a long way away from practical day-to-day use.
It is also going to encourage other companies to start working on other charging solutions, thus leading to greater discoveries.