WiTricity Demos Apple's Wireless iMac Charging Station Concept

A couple of new Apple patent applications were revealed today, including an incredibly impractical one that demonstrates using your iPod headphones for inductive charging. Apple has researched inductive charging in the past, though it comes with some major limitations.

As we've covered before, Apple has also researched alternative options such as WiTricity's magnetic resonance charging technology. WiTricity is based on the research from MIT's labs where scientists showed a new method for transferring larger amounts of power wirelessly over more practical distances (up to a couple of meters) than traditional induction.

features hero20110720
Apple's previous research into this technology suggested that your desktop computer could be used as a wireless charging hub for devices in its immediate proximity:

Apple describes a scenario where your iMac could be the source of this resonance power to provide a virtual charging area in front of your computer. Keyboards, mice and even mobile electronic devices like the iPhone or iPad could be charged simply be being in a 1 meter proximity to your computer. In typical Apple fashion, they describe that "by doing away with clumsy and annoying cables and eliminating the need to replace batteries, an easy to use and efficient local computing environment can be provided to the user."

WiTricity must have been following along, as they've posted this video showing how their wireless technology works and even set up a working model of exactly what Apple was describing. iMac charging demo starts at 3 minutes 50 seconds:


WiTricity works on the concept of magnetic resonance where a magnetic field is being alternated in the source device to affect the target devices. Charging can occur over several meters. The technology is said to be safe and is being designed to meet applicable safety regulations. See our previous coverage for more information.

Top Rated Comments

Xero910 Avatar
132 months ago
^ Computers aren't going away anytime soon. The cloud has nothing to do with this. Computers are necessary for work. Mobile devices aren't a replacement, rather a new category.


This stuff is truly amazing. No more batteries, just charging the devices automatically when in use. This could be amazing for gaming consoles and wirelessly controllers. Obviously keyboards, mice, phones, tablets.

I'm very anxious to see this put in real products.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
132 months ago
Is there any cancer risk to these new wireless charging technologies? Seems a bit unsafe to have so much energy wirelessly radiating around you.
there was a lot of debate about this in the previous thread.

I guess we'll have to see. It's not "energy" that's being radiated. It's a magnetic fields that are alternated. Magentic fields have generally been considered safe (though some people debate that).

In fact, people even wear magnets (http://www.amazon.com/Hematite-Powerful-Magnetic-Bracelet-Arthritis/dp/B000KE40ZW) to improve their health, so maybe there's a health benefit to Witricity. :)

arn
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
res1233 Avatar
132 months ago
Did he really just hold down the power button to turn the computer off?... God I hate people who do that. Then they complain about problems a month later likely due to corruption caused by dirty shutdowns... Oh well. :p
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deannnnn Avatar
132 months ago
The idea of never having to charge/replace batteries in a keyboard/mouse is amazing alone. Throw in wireless charging for my iPhone and iPad? I'm in.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
132 months ago
Is there any cancer risk to these new wireless charging technologies? Seems a bit unsafe to have so much energy wirelessly radiating around you.

It's just as safe as going outside swimming in tons of RF spectrum...

GPS/satellite signals, CDMA, iDEN, HAM, CB, WiFi, GSM are around us whether we like it or not. :D
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
132 months ago
Even though it's really cool... I would learn toward the side of this not happening...

Apple appears to be moving toward "the cloud" to store files, rendering the need to own a computer along with an ipad, iphone, and/or ipod obsolete. In terms of the consumer focus; why own a computer If you don't need a it; why buy one just to be used as a charging station for another divice?
Apple will still make/sell computers as long as there is an App Store and developers. How else do you think we make iOS apps?!

I'm definitely a fan for wireless charging without the need for Powermat garbage, etc in the form of a case. This and 802.22 WiFi will be pretty cool someday.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...