Apple Invents Wearable Battery Charging Module for Apple Watch

by

Apple is weighing up the possibility of developing a wearable battery module to charge an Apple Watch while it's being worn, according to a patent published on Thursday (via AppleInsider).

Details of the invention were released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, under the title "Charging apparatus for wearable electronic device". The module uses an inductive element to transmit power to the smartwatch, similar to the one used in the existing Apple Watch magnetic charging cable.


Two embodiments are described in the patent. The first shows the charger embedded in the wristband – an idea similar to previous inventions – while the second depicts a separate module that sits underneath the watch chassis and attaches to an existing band.

The induction component in the portable module is capable of both transmitting and receiving power, and aligns itself with the smartwatch or an external charging source using magnets. Apple proposes the use of heat-dissipating circuitry to ensure the module is comfortable to wear against the skin, while various wired solutions are also described for charging the device itself when not in use.

It's impossible to say whether the patent will see use in a future product, but Apple is clearly investigating various battery life solutions that don't sacrifice the thinness of the Series 2 design, which is already slightly thicker than the first generation. Improving the battery life of the next Apple Watch is also reportedly the "main task" of Quanta, the Taiwan-based company responsible for manufacturing the wearable.

Extending the time between charges would allow users to wear their watch to sleep over consecutive days, which would give Apple the opportunity to introduce sleep tracking features into the next WatchOS, as well as potentially introduce resting heart-rate tracking - a primary indicator of overall health. Extended battery life could even potentially usher in a future Apple Watch with an always-on display.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Tag: patent
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
45 months ago
I know that these patent diagrams never reflect the actual design of a product but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention:

Round watch face!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
That's not a patent for a product. That's a patent for the chargers they use on their demo watches.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

This is all a little bit stupid. I just want a watch that can work long enough for a week's use. Not bits and pieces that add half a day longer. A watch that works at least a week, that's all I want.

you probably will never get one that lasts a week. but perhaps if they added some kind of kinetic charging you could go more than one day.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks Discusses 'Heartbreaking' Shift of WWII Film Greyhound From Theatrical Blockbuster to Apple TV+ Exclusive

Monday July 6, 2020 7:53 am PDT by
Tom Hanks' WWII drama "Greyhound" is set to premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday, July 10, and ahead of that debut the actor gave an interview with The Guardian discussing the film. "Greyhound" was originally planned to see a theatrical release this summer, and was repeatedly delayed in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Apple won the streaming rights to the film, and in the new...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Model Size Compared to Original iPhone SE and iPhone 7

Saturday July 4, 2020 9:44 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 dummy models based on leaked schematics have been starting to circulate online and in online marketplaces. Not happy with the circulating size comparisons between the rumored 5.4" iPhone 12 and the original iPhone SE models, MacRumors forum user iZac took matters into his own hands and purchased his own 5.4" dummy model to provide more detailed size comparisons between the original...

Shipping Estimates for 27-Inch iMac Continue to Slip, Now Into September

Monday July 6, 2020 6:55 am PDT by
Amid rumors and hints of a forthcoming update for the iMac, supplies of Apple's current 27-inch iMac continue to dwindle with mid- and high-end stock configurations now seeing shipping estimates pushed back into September. The 27-inch iMac has seen tight supplies and extended shipping estimates for months now, but the situation has been gradually worsening to the point where new buyers can...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...