Apple and a truly wireless future: AirPods are just the start

“Contrary to popular belief, Apple is a company that often tells us their plans way ahead of time, but they usually do it in a way that flies under the radar,” Abdel Ibrahim writes for AppAdvice.

“That happened during Apple’s presentation of the iPhone 7 when the company debuted their new wireless earbuds, AirPods,” Ibrahim writes. “In a two-minute video clip, Jony Ive essentially tells us Apple’s plans in plain English, but without going into detail.”

“In fact, the very first thing Ive says in the video is ‘We believe in a wireless future. A future where all of your devices intuitively connect,'” Ibrahim writes. “If that’s isn’t a bold statement from Apple’s Chief Design Officer, I don’t know what is.”

“What Ive is saying is that he and Apple basically hate wires,” Ibrahim writes. “I have a guess on what they’ll tackle next: Wireless charging. No, not the wireless charging you and I have seen on products like the Apple Watch and other Android devices, but truly wireless charging.”

“For years people have wondered why Apple hasn’t incorporated wireless charging on the iPhone in the same way companies like Samsung have. The answer is simple: that isn’t wireless charging in Apple’s eye,” Ibrahim writes. “To Apple, there is no real benefit to putting an iPhone on a wireless pad. Why? Because it actually makes the device less mobile. Instead of a simple wire that connects to your phone, you now have a wire that connects to a fat puck.”

“Truly wireless charging would be amazing. Imagine walking into your house and having your phone charge without doing anything,” Ibrahim writes. “Wouldn’t that be amazing? That’s what Apple is working towards.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While it would certainly be very useful for iPhones, Apple Watches and MacBooks, “truly wireless charging” would certainly would be a cataclysmic game-changer if it worked for something like, say, electric vehicles, wouldn’t it?

SEE ALSO:
Apple explores charging stations for electric vehicles, sources say – May 25, 2016
Apple possibly working with Energous on extended range wireless charging for future iPhones – February 5, 2016
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

28 Comments

  1. Uh huh, and the “one more thing” will be a perpetual motion machine.

    The “wireless future” that Ive was talking about is between devices. Getting all these devices to talk to each other instantly is tricky stuff, and Apple has seemingly made a huge advance now with wireless pairing of headphones.

    Or maybe this article is right and Jony Ive’s next video will have him saying to Siri, “Earl Grey. Hot.”

    1. Perhaps you should check out some sites that closely follow Apple’s patent filings. The reason your comment is getting voted so low is because you’re way off the mark. Check out a few sites and I’m sure you will understand what I’m saying.

  2. I agree with the OP. As another article mentioned the really amazing thing was the ceramic  Watch. A Ceramic Phone which is almost CERTANLY what the iPhone 8 is. This would make wireless charging much easier along with all the benifits the OP was mentioning. Oh and I LOVE the new Airpods. Apple has me lusting again – now just give me some damn MACS for Jobs sake!

    1. I was going to write about the new AirPods ability to stay in the ears was one of my first concerns when I saw them, as an intro.

      I was then going to point out after reading the article that I’m relieved that the author’s experience was very positive. I was going to add a touch of insecurity that they needed to be tested with a large population cause ears are different and one style may not fit all. I was going to sauce it up with that overlying secret Apple sauce, of paying attention to details and providing quality that lasts for years so those that want daily upgrades can go plunk it some where.

      But noooooooooo as soon as I go to post, I scroll down to the comments and there it is… Mr. Derek Curie with the Tesla coil. Now there’s a visionary that the rest of the world still hasn’t caught up to and coming from you, it’s too hard to resist jumping on the topic.

      I won’t extol on the depth of the virtues of the Serbian genius, you obviously are in the know about a lot of things. Instead I’ll point out something about the visionaries, what they have to deal with. A visionary like Steve Jobs is lucky, he was years ahead of his time. Tesla was centuries ahead of his time and that’s the drawback, cause you get so far ahead that what you talk about is beyond science fiction and it scares people. Many thought that he was insane at the time but he was spot on.

      Now because it’s you Derek and the fact that what I’m going to say will make no sense to most I’ll share a little tidbit of why I am so optimistic about the future. Tesla’s idea of broadcasting free energy to the world was on a global scale and as such utilized high frequencies in the gigahertz range, not the low hundred range of the current AC system in use today. Now the low frequency systems currently in use that have to be carried through wires have an overall detrimental effect on biological systems. You can check that over the net. What you find, at least not easily are the effects of high frequency EMF fields on biological systems. If you were rich enough to conduct such experiments on a large scale, you’d have every government agency currently on the planet looking to shut you down. I’m one of the fortunate few to have witnessed directly some of those effects, and I can tell you that they are astonishing, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m very optimistic for the future of humanity. Sooner or later someone is going to tap into that and it will be one giant leap for mankind, a quantum jump for humanity.

      I’ll leave it at that.

      Enjoy.

      1. You and I must bang head over a few pints some time. What a pleasure to read. I know nothing about the biological effects of various EM frequencies. It’s right up my interest realm.

        I enjoy reading about Tesla. From what I can understand, he was a high functioning moderate schizophrenic. Somehow he integrated it into his work. Beats me how. What I admire about him most is:
        A) His wild imagination and its application to his work.
        B) His relentless altruism. That’s so incredibly rare and priceless.
        C) His constant drive despite relentless barriers. (What dolt said ‘The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.’ Oh, it was the otherwise wise Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hmm.

        I thoroughly relate to all of the above and attempt the same in my own life.

        If I had a time machine I would skip killing off the psychopaths and instead save the great and kind people who suffered for their divine gifts to mankind, especially Tesla, by providing them with a worthy end of life experience.

        There is so much wonderful on our miracle planet. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with me. Let us enjoy.

      2. I am an not an electrical engineer, but I have had enough physics to know that wireless power transition is an inefficient process. I have seen some techniques for focusing multiple high frequency beams to more efficiently charge multiple devices, but I remain a skeptic at this point. Will we transition to the efficiencies of LED lighting and hybrid cars only to waste energy on wireless charging?

        1. You’re right about that, with current transmission technologies there is a lot of inefficiency in wireless power transmission. However, that Japanese satellite that is testing microwave power transmission seems to be working well, so if they can include superconductors into portable devices to boost the signal, then the silicon and copper loss problems will be somewhat mitigated. I think that’s what the chip from energous does, but I’m not sure. And as Derek Currie reminded us, Nikola Tesla had this figured out 130 years ago. So it’s certainly possible to do and if there is any company that can make it work and popularize it it’s Apple. Imagine iOS devices and portable macs that charge as soon as you walk in the house from an AirPort Extreme that broadcasts the power and network signal simultaneously. In the late 90’s when I was in college, people thought no one could actually deliver wifi to the greater public. It was a curiosity and considered something that was possible but not likely. Then in 1999 here comes the iBook and the AirPort and all of a sudden in a period of a decade, wifi was suddenly everywhere. I see truly wireless charging in the same vein, and i think Apple does too. As the original post points out, current inductive charging although technically “wireless” is actually a step back in that as soon as the device is picked up, it stops charging. In that case a plug is better, you can move the device around to the length of the cable and it charges faster. And if Apple can in fact produce a truly wireless charging solution they will rule the world from not only a profit perspective, but a market share perspective as well. especially if they have exclusives on the technology, since it will take a very long time for someone to knock that off. It feels like an exciting time, and I think the tenth anniversary iPhone will be something that truly leapfrogs everyone yet again after 9 years of design refinements. I get accused of being an apologist or fanboy all the time, nothing could be further from the truth, I’m just optimistic about the future and I’m willing to give them credit for the evolution of products and design; and I truly feel that something big is coming.

          1. Transmitting data is one thing – transmitting power is entirely different. The transmission and conversion losses are high. Is the convenience worth the cost? Not unless Sheldon Cooper has made a breakthrough in physics.

  3. The follow up of a wireless connection of an internet of things, is adding our brains to it.

    You can say we are already wireless, but using a different frequency. We communicate via ultra low wireless frequencies and ultra high wireless frequencies. None of it, all that efficient or accurate.

      1. I took the thought too far out. What I was going on – the theme is wireless, yet we still have to touch everything. Touch isn’t wireless. So truly wireless HID requires a brain implant. But thats just for computers.

        Ask the question what is wireless IO for biology? Sound, sight, smell. Effectively we are wireless to each other. But it’s terribly inaccurate and short range.

        This has to be a part of the discussion, somewhere at Apple.

  4. Apple is almost certainly the teir 1 partner with Energous. They’re the closest company to bringing this technology to market. This unity gives the ‘partner’ the sole right to use the charging chip in mobile devices. This way, the Energous chargers can be deployed in restaurants etc to charge kids toys, hearing aids etc AND any Apple device – not Scamdung or any other knock of phones.

  5. I was thinking today how Luddite the whiners are who say the phone can’t charge and play music. Any — ANY — Bluetooth headphone will work with the phone. The future’s wireless, people. Complain all you want about wired headphones, but in the future there are no wires.

  6. Who’s to say that Tesla-type technology hasn’t already been developed and deployed by a closed-channel group who had the astounding good fortune to trip across this nascent physics, only to bury parts of it as soon as possible? Does the name of James Clerk Maxwell catch anyone’s attention? Does the depreciating “editing” that was done to Maxwell’s equations by Oliver Heaviside tweak any curiosity as to WHY? Does international money folks wrapped up with this whole affair fail to pass the smell test?

    Inquiring minds want to know . . .

    Niffy

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