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"Apple is investigating ways to charge iPhones and iPads wirelessly and without contact using the signal emitted by radio frequencies such as Wi-Fi, a patent filing has revealed.
The indication the company is working on the system will raise hopes that the end of having to physically plug a cable into a mobile device in order to charge it could be around the corner.
The filing reveals Apple is looking at ways to re-power its devices using mobile, Wi-Fi and millimetre wave signals. It proposes directing the electromagnetic frequencies, normally used for data transmission, towards device as a "beam" of energy.
Long-range wireless charging isn't a new concept and Apple has been working on different ways to achieve it for a number of years. It first filed a patent for a way to wirelessly recharge an iMac at a distance of one metre back in 2010.
Rumours suggest that Apple is planning to introduce wireless charging to the iPhone for the first time this year in time for its 10-year anniversary. Adding weight to reports, the company joined an industry group called the Wireless Power Consortium in February.
However, the method of wireless charging that Apple could use is still unclear.
It had been claimed that the iPhone would not feature the short-range "inductive" wireless charging used on the Watch and rival phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Instead, Apple was said to be waiting to introduce wireless charging on the handsets only when it had developed a long-range system.
Apple patented a separate "inductive charging station" concept for the iPhone last Autumn, paving the way for short-range wireless charging on the iPhone 8. The upcoming handset is rumoured to come with a glass case that could support the feature. "
Source: Cara McGoogan, www.independent.ie