Apple possibly working with Energous on extended range wireless charging for future iPhones

“Amid rumors that Apple is working on extended range wireless charging capabilities for future iPhones, there has been some speculation that Apple has partnered with Energous to implement the technology,” Juli Clover reports for MacRumors. “Energous is the company behind WattUp, an emerging wireless charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away.”

“Though there’s no concrete proof of a relationship between Energous and Apple, a new research report from Louis Basenese of Disruptive Tech Research highlights a large pool of circumstantial evidence pointing towards a potential partnership,” Clover reports. “Basenese posits Apple is working with a partner rather than developing an in-house solution due to the small number of patents the company has filed surrounding wireless charging — just five, with none filed since 2013.”

Clover reports, “As evidence that partner is Energous, he points towards their common manufacturing partners (TSMC and Foxconn), their membership in ANSI working towards standards for wireless power transfer compliance testing, and most notably, the fact that Energous’s RF-based wireless charging system is the only long-distance solution nearly ready to launch.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Too soon for iPhone 7? Hopefully not!

Right now, the Apple Watch’s wireless charging is nice because it’s less fiddly, and especially useful in the dark, but it’s still essentially a corded charging system in practice.

Apple developing cutting-edge long-range wirelessly-charged iPhones and iPads – January 29, 2016
iPhone 7 and the potential for wireless charging – January 19, 2016
Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too – January 7, 2016
Apple looks to patent inductive charging system that could power an Apple Pencil or even a future kitchen appliance – January 7, 2016
Apple files 5th wireless inductive charging patent application since Late September – November 5, 2015\
Apple patent application reveals iPhone inductive charging sans extra hardware – October 8, 2015
Patent application reveals Apple working on wireless charging systems focused on rapid power delivery – August 27, 2015
Apple invents inductive charging interfaces for mobile devices – April 2, 2015
Apple ‘iPhone 7’ models likely to offer wireless charging – April 2, 2015


    1. What Tesla’s diagram above shows is just a normal inductive transfer or what I might call an “air transformer,” and the efficiency % of the power transfer between coils goes down very quickly as you separate the coils.

      Now if instead the two coils were wound around metal laminations we would call it a transformer, and the % effiency of the transfer goes way up

      The game being played with longer distance RF power transfer over 10-15 feet uses a lot of different technology to achieve significant power transfer.

      The interesting thing to me is that wireless charging efficiency has to be lower than wired charging. That means that once RF charging becomes “the norm,” we will be wasting a lot more energy.

      On the opposite side, maybe charging will become more reliable with less work and less chance for damaging the devices. My 5s suddenly stopped charging a month back and I have no idea why … dead. It could easily be from a dozen different connection or component failures.

      1. Excellent analysis! I am very interested in learning more about the beamed energy approach and its end-to-end efficiency – theoretical and actual.. What is the effect of intervening materials? Will a human body block most or all of the power signal? What is the maximum reasonable power that can be transmitted on a single beam? How much room does the receiving circuit take in the mobile device?

        Lots of questions…looking forward to the answers. If this technology is truly promising, Apple needs to lock up exclusive rights to it. This could make charging pads suddenly look like ancient technology.

      2. I did point out that it was only one of Tesla’s wireless energy systems. It’s the easiest to understand. I have plenty of other Tesla diagrams that I decided to avoid. But I appreciate that you understand the radio frequency technology discussed in the article.

        What I worry about is RF noise from these charging devices. It is the norm for RF devices to be very sloppy in their use of their designated spectrum. I still, almost hourly, get RF noise over FM radio from a local cheap cell phone. That is NOT supposed to happen. I call it ‘Crapmanship’. Supposedly, the FCC is cracking down on RF leaking.

        Sorry to hear about your 5S. 🙁

    2. Yep. Read many books about him. Was one of my childhood favorite inventors.

      I believe one of his labs was setup so a lightbulb anywhere in the room would light up.

      Then there is the famous Colorado demo where he lit a bank of lights from 10 miles away. The lights were up in the mountains i believe. Gonna have to look up that Tesla book and read it again. Been too many decades.

      As a kid I wanted to invent christmas tree lights with no wires. Just hang the lights like an ornament and have the “transmitter” under the tree to send power to the lights.

      1. The best biography of Tesla is the most recent: “Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age Paperback” by W. Bernard Carlson.

        But the previous biography is free over at Amazon as a Kindle format book: “Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century” (Kindle Edition) by Sean Patrick.

  1. MDN the Apple Watch is not charged wirelessly! It’s attached to the device with a magnet. I don’t have a problem with it but the wire is still there, attached to the device with a magnet.

    1. I can put a piece of paper between the charger and the watch. It will still charge “wirelessly”. Yes there is this large magnet a fraction of an inch away but it does not have a plug with two wires connecting to a circuit.

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