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Patent suggest link between Apple's wireless charging and WiTricity

Patent suggest link between Apple's wireless charging and WiTricity
Steve Sande
Steve Sande|@stevensande|July 11, 2011 2:30 PM

Along with several rumors that seemed far-fetched, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Apple is looking at a new charging capability for the 2012 iPhone -- most likely wireless. Now an international patent filing by Apple seems to be linking the company to 2007 startup WiTricity, a group that is working on extending inductive charging to a distance of several meters.

HP's Palm Pre uses wireless inductive charging, but requires that the device be in physical contact with the charging "Touchstone." Apple's patent filing, which was first published in May, describes a situation where an iMac is used to create a charging zone. Any device, whether it be a mouse, a keyboard, an iPhone or an iPad, is charged simply by being within 1 meter of the computer.

The link between Apple and WiTricity comes from a reference in the patent filing to the original paper published by MIT researchers which is the basis of WiTricity's technology. For a look at a demo of the WiTricity wireless power capabilities in action (including an iPhone powered by the company's technology), check out the video below from the 2009 TED conference.

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