wireless charging


'wireless charging' Articles

Apple Has at Least Five Different Groups Working on Wireless Charging Ahead of iPhone 8

Apple is widely expected to launch its first iPhone with wireless charging capabilities later this year, but rumors remain conflicting about whether the feature will be based on inductive technology, which would require a charging pad or puck, or a truly wireless long-range charging solution. Apple recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium, a group of over 200 companies backing the Qi wireless charging standard, perhaps signaling that it is leaning towards an inductive solution. After all, the Apple Watch uses Qi, albeit a tweaked version that only works with Apple's own charger. Qi, pronounced "chee," is capable of scaling from less than 1 watt to more than 2,000 watts of power, making the standard more than adequate enough for charging any smartphone. Its backing members include Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm, Dell, Canon, Sony, Huawei, Apple supplier Luxshare, and others. Apple is known to test many different technologies behind closed doors, some of which never see the light of day. Reuters today, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter," said there are still "at least five different groups" working on wireless charging technology within the company ahead of new iPhones. Just three months ago, Apple was said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it could be experimenting with different charging solutions for future devices; however, with iPhone 8 production expected to begin relatively soon, Apple has likely already finalized the hardware. Apple will reportedly begin production of its upcoming iPhones as early as

Disney Research Builds Prototype Living Room With 'Safe and Ubiquitous Wireless Power'

Disney Research has constructed a prototype living room with "ubiquitous wireless power delivery," allowing users to move around while their technology charges without any cables, wires, or charging pads (via Ars Technica). Disney's technology mirrors some early rumors for the 2017 iPhone 8, which suggested Apple was building a long-range wireless charging solution instead of the Apple Watch-style inductive charging solution of more recent reports. The room's walls, ceiling, and floor were built with aluminum panels, and a large copper pipe was placed in its center. The middle of the pipe was cut out and in the gap the researchers placed fifteen capacitors, "and it's those capacitors that set the electromagnetic frequency of the structure, and can find the electric fields." To generate the power that is relayed into the room, a signal generator sits just outside the prototype living room and outputs a 1.32MHz signal to the capacitors in the pole, producing what the researchers call "quasistatic cavity resonance." "In this work we're demonstrating room-scale wireless power, but there's no reason we couldn't shrink this down to the size of a toy box or a charging chest, or scale up to a warehouse or a large building." Given that it's still a very early prototype, there's a few caveats to Disney's wireless charger, including the limit on the power that can be pumped into the room before it reaches dangerous levels for humans. The specific absorption rate, a measure of how much energy can be absorbed by the human body, is capped at 1900 watts. The copper pole at the

Apple Joins Wireless Power Consortium Behind 'Qi' Standard Ahead of iPhone 8

Apple recently became listed as a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, committed to the open development of the Qi wireless charging standard. The listing was brought to our attention by IHS Technology. Apple, which has since confirmed it is a member, has become one of over 200 companies that belong to the consortium, including Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm, Verizon, ConvenientPower, Aircharge, Dell, Canon, Sony, ST Microelectronics, Toshiba, Texas Instruments, Philips, Panasonic, Bosch, Nokia, and Huawei. Qi is the leading wireless charging standard, used by more than 200 companies in products ranging from smartphones to cordless kitchen appliances. Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphones, for example, feature Qi-based wireless charging which requires placing the device on one of its "Fast Charge" stands. Qi, pronounced "chee," is capable of scaling from less than 1 watt to more than 2,000 watts of power, making the standard more than adequate enough for charging any smartphone. With Qi's latest Quick Charge technology, a five-minute charge can provide a smartphone with up to five hours of battery life. The so-called "iPhone 8" is widely rumored to include wireless charging, so Apple's participation in the consortium is perhaps unsurprising. Moreover, there is increasing evidence to suggest the "iPhone 8" may use inductive technology, which would require a charging puck or pad, rather than long-range charging. Luxshare is also a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, which is notable given a recent rumor claiming the "iPhone 8" will have a separate

iPhone 8 Said to Have Separate Wireless Charger, No Headphone Jack Adapter or USB-C Cable in Box

Apple is planning to release three new iPhone models later this year, including 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models and an all-new 5-inch model with an OLED display and glass casing, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. iPhone 8 concept by visual designer Moe Slah The report, citing "reliable sources" within Apple's supply chain, insists that only the OLED model will adopt glass casing and wireless charging capabilities, contradicting a Nikkei report and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's repeated claims that all 2017 iPhones will feature an all-glass design and wireless charging. The blog previously said the more iterative "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" models will lack wireless charging and retain the now-familiar aluminum design that Apple has used since the iPhone 6 lineup in 2014. Apple supplier Catcher Technology also said it expects only one new iPhone model to have glass casing. The loosely-translated report suggests the wireless charging will not be a built-in feature, but rather a separate accessory based on technology from Luxshare, a Chinese company that has been rumored to be a supplier of wireless charging coils for the inductive Apple Watch charger in the past. Samsung's wireless charging stand for the latest Galaxy smartphones If the report is accurate, it would mean Apple's next iPhones will not have truly wireless long-range charging capabilities, but rather contact-based inductive charging like the Apple Watch or Qi-based charging pads like Samsung's "Fast Charge" stand. Qi's latest Quick Charge 2.0 spec supports wireless charging up to

iPhone 8 Said to Feature Iris Scanner to Authenticate With Your Eyes

Apple is widely rumored to launch a high-end iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display this year, which has been variously called the "iPhone 8" or "iPhone X" to commemorate the smartphone's tenth anniversary, and rumors suggest the device will an include iris scanner to authenticate with your eyes. iPhone 8 concept by visual designer Moe Slah Taiwanese website DigiTimes, citing unnamed "industry sources," claims the so-called "iPhone 8" will include an OLED display, wireless charging, and iris scanning technology, the latter of which would presumably enable iPhone users to unlock their device or use Apple Pay by authenticating with their eyes. A person's iris, or the circular colored muscle of the eye, contains a complex and random pattern that is unique to each individual. DigiTimes has sources within Apple's supply chain, but it has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's unannounced product plans, so this latest report should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt. The publication previously said iPhones with iris scanning capabilities would not debut until 2018. DigiTimes previously cited a Chinese website that said 2017 iPhones will include iris scanning capabilities, but today's report is based on its own sources. The original report claimed Taiwan-based supplier Xintec, an affiliate of Apple manufacturer TSMC, would begin mass production of iris-recognition chips this year. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the more reliable sources of iPhone rumors, believes Apple is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris

All Three New 2017 iPhones to Feature Wireless Charging

Apple is widely rumored to launch three new iPhones this year, and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now claims that all of them will feature wireless charging. iPhone 8 concept by UI/UX designer Moe Slah Kuo said wireless charging increases the internal temperature of smartphones, so he expects the rumored iPhone 8 with an OLED display and glass casing to have a new 3D Touch module with "additional graphite sheet lamination" in order to prevent the device from malfunctioning due to overheating. An excerpt from Kuo's research note obtained by MacRumors:While we don’t expect general users to notice any difference, lamination of an additional graphite sheet is needed for better thermal control and, thus, steady operation; this is because FPCB is replaced with film, which is more sensitive to temperature change of the 3D touch sensor in OLED iPhone.The new 3D Touch module could be up to $5 more expensive for Apple to procure per phone. While that is a minimal increase, it lends further credence to a report claiming the high-end iPhone 8 could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States due to a significant redesign and the use of premium parts. Kuo previously said Apple will switch to all-glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup, including the more iterative 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus, in order to support wireless charging. It remains unclear if the wireless charging will be based on long-range or inductive technologies

iPhone 8 May Use Apple's In-House Inductive Wireless Charging Rather Than Technology From Energous

Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple and could potentially provide wireless charging technology for the upcoming iPhone 8. While Energous CEO Steve Rizzone has continually hinted that his company has established an agreement with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world," leading people to believe the partner is Apple, a new investor's note from Copperfield Research outlines why Apple has no plans to use Energous' WattUp radio frequency-based wireless charging solution. Copperfield Research examined multiple inductive charging patent applications filed by Apple starting in 2013, which now number more than a dozen, suggesting the patents are a clear indication of Apple's desire to pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions for future products. Inductive charging, widely used today, relies on magnetic coils to provide power rather than radio waves. An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging The patents by themselves are not a clear indication of Apple's plans, but in one patent filed in 2011, Apple makes its feelings on radio frequency-based charging clear, calling it "very inefficient," "not practical," and potentially hazardous. In the interest of full disclosure, however, the patent was filed before any prospective relationship with Energous.However, this type of radiative transfer is very inefficient because only a tiny portion of the supplied or radiated power, namely, that portion in the direction of, and

Lite-On Semiconductor to Provide Wireless Charging Components for iPhone 8

Lite-On Semiconductor is to provide integrated chip components for the next-generation "iPhone 8" that will support fast wireless charging, according to a new report out today. According to Chinese-language paper Commercial Times, the Taiwan-based maker of discrete and analog IC components will supply the bridge rectifiers necessary to maintain efficiency in wireless power transmission and reduce thermal issues. iPhone 8 concept by Handy Abovergleich. Lite-On Semi has reportedly obtained half of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers that will be used in the wireless charger for the upcoming iPhones, the report cited industry sources as saying.The semiconductor company's share price on the Taiwan Stock Exchange rallied to its daily 10 percent limit on the news. Lite-On Semi responded to the report by saying it does not comment on customers or orders. Apple is said to be working on long-range wireless charging technology, which is superior to many existing wireless charging methods since it doesn't require devices to be as close to a charging source or mat. Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is reportedly testing wireless charging modules intended for use in this year's "10th anniversary iPhone", while recent comments by possible partner Energous suggest Apple could use the company's over-the-air charging technology in a forthcoming smartphone. The iPhone 8 is expected to introduce a radical redesign of Apple's iconic handset, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera. Three

Energous Says Its Truly Wireless Charging Technology Will Ship Later This Year — In Next iPhone?

Amid rumors that Apple will release its first iPhone models with wireless charging capabilities as early as this year, its possible partner Energous has told The Verge that its first truly wireless transmitters will begin shipping by the end of 2017, over two years after it first introduced the technology. Energous CEO Steve Rizzone also dropped yet another hint suggesting its partner is indeed Apple. "One of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world," he said. "I cannot tell you who it is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home." Energous is the company behind WattUp, a truly wire-free, over-the-air charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away. If you walked into a room with a WattUp transmitter, for example, a smartphone with a built-in WattUp receiver would automatically begin charging. Energous today announced that its WattUp technology will be embedded in six products on display at CES 2017 this week, such as the Chipolo Plus Bluetooth tracker and a SK Telesys hearing aid, but these implementations will require small, contact-based, portable transmitters rather than the larger, truly wireless transmitters coming. The company said these early devices integrated with WattUp receiver technology will be able to seamlessly transition from being charged by the contact-based transmitters to forthcoming larger transmitters that offer over-the-air charging at-a-distance of up to 15 feet, seemingly by the end of this year.

'iPhone 7s' and 'iPhone 7s Plus' Said to Come in All-New Red Color, Lack New Design and Wireless Charging

Apple will release updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next year, aptly called the "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus," according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The report claims the smartphones will retain the same aluminum design as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with only internal changes, including the addition of a faster A11 chip. The report added it is highly probable the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will come in an all-new red color alongside current Black, Jet Black, Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver options. Multiple rumors suggest Apple plans to release three new iPhone models next year, including updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays and a larger premium model with an OLED display and glass casing, but reports have been conflicting about which features will be included on each model. If this report is accurate, it could signify Apple's plans to release a completely overhauled glass-backed iPhone with a curved, bezel-free OLED display and wireless charging at the high end of its 2017 smartphone lineup, while making only incremental upgrades to its traditional 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones with LCD displays. An earlier report from Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review said Apple plans to release three glass-backed iPhones next year, while it was said the 4.7-inch iPhone would get wireless charging, so there remains a lack of consensus among rumors—perhaps unsurprising given new iPhones are likely over nine months away. Mac Otakara was first to report about Apple's plans to remove the headphone jack and add a new

4.7-Inch iPhone to Feature Wireless Charging Next Year

Apple's next-generation 4.7-inch iPhone will feature glass casing with wireless charging, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors.Our rationale is as follows: (1) the OLED model may trigger replacement demand among high-end users given its completely all-new-design form factor and notably superior specs in comparison to the TFT-LCD models; and (2) the new 4.7” iPhone, featuring glass casing and wireless charging, looks well positioned to tap replacement demand at the entry level.Kuo previously said all new iPhones are "likely" to support wireless charging next year, so 5.5-inch and all-new OLED models will likely gain the feature as well in addition to the now-confirmed 4.7-inch model. Kuo believes Apple will switch to glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup in order to support wireless charging, with Pegatron being the exclusive supplier of the new 4.7-inch iPhone and a wireless charger expected to be included with at least some models. The wireless charger will allegedly have wider availability by 2018. The new 4.7-inch iPhone and an OLED model featuring a "completely all-new-design form factor and notably superior specs" are predicted to drive "potentially unprecedented replacement demand" from smartphone users. Kuo forecasts Apple could sell 120-150 million new iPhones in the back half of 2017, topping an iPhone 6 sales record.To our understanding, while demand visibility in 2H17F is as yet unclear and presumed pull-in demand may change anytime, upstream suppliers may be around now setting

iPhone 8 to Feature All-Glass Casing in Order to Support Wireless Charging

Apple will switch to an all-glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup in order to support wireless charging, with Pegatron being the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger. That's according to the latest research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, the transition from metal to glass casing is key if Apple is to introduce a wireless charging feature in the 2017 iPhone. While patented engineering solutions do exist for wirelessly charging devices with metal cases, issues with wireless frequency tolerances for metal alloys can limit the speed at which charging takes place. On top of that, it is widely believed that Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years. iPhone concept image via ConceptsiPhone We believe one of the reasons why new iPhones will switch from metal casing to glass casing is to support wireless charging. In order to ensure a superior performance, we believe it is most appropriate for EMS suppliers to develop and make the wireless charger because then a comprehensive test can be conducted. As Hon Hai needs to deploy most resources to develop and produce OLED iPhone, we expect Pegatron will be the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger.Kuo remains uncertain whether a wireless charger will be bundled with all new iPhones, but expects at least some models to be next year, with wider availability by 2018. Kuo last week claimed that Apple will release 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model iPhones with LCD screens as well as an all-new OLED model

Foxconn Testing Wireless Charging Modules for iPhone 8

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is testing wireless charging modules intended for use in the 2017 10th anniversary iPhone, according to Nikkei. However, Nikkei's source says the feature's inclusion into the iPhone 8 is dependent on yield rates. iPhone concept image via ConceptsiPhone "But whether the feature can eventually make it into Apple's updated devices will depend on whether Foxconn can boost the yield rate to a satisfactory level later on," the source said.The modules are intended for the 2017 iPhone, but it's unclear whether all 2017 iPhone models will include wireless charging or whether it'll be reserved for higher-end Plus models. In January, it was reported that Apple was exploring extended range wireless charging for the 2017 iPhone. Extended wireless charging is seen as superior to existing wireless charging solutions because it does not require the device to be as close to a charging mat or source. In February, there was speculation that Apple was working with Energous, the company behind WattUp, a wireless charging technology that uses radio waves to charge devices up to 15 feet away, on wireless charging technology. Apple has also been hiring engineers experienced in wireless charging in recent months. In May, the company hired two engineers from uBeam, a startup focused on a wireless charging technique that uses ultrasonic waves to charge electronic devices by converting those waves into electricity. The Cupertino company has also filed many patents for wireless charging technology, though it has publicly downplayed the usefulness of

Apple Hires Pair of Engineers From Wireless Charging Startup uBeam

As rumors swirl around Apple's potential integration of wireless charging in future iPhone models, The Verge discovered the company has recently hired a pair of engineers with specialties focused in wireless charging and ultrasonic technology. Those two hires came in the past four months, but they are part of a larger group of more than a dozen wireless charging hires over the past two years. The two latest hires, Jonathan Bolus and Andrew Joyce, come from startup uBeam, which is working on a wireless charging technique centered around the harnessing of ultrasonic waves that are converted into electricity to charge an electronic device. Questions about the viability of uBeam's technology have been around for a while, and former VP of Engineering at uBeam, Paul Reynolds, has been highlighting the company's errors and potential for failure on his personal blog. The most recent post centers around the mishandled and controversial PR battle faced by blood test startup Theranos, and the suggested implications similarly affecting uBeam.Last week a former engineer from the much hyped wireless charging startup uBeam left some scathing criticism of the company on his blog. He compared uBeam to the now disgraced startup Theranos, saying that uBeam has avoided any full-fledged public demonstrations because its technology doesn't work as advertised. While it can do some very limited charging over a short distance, he allowed, the basic laws of physics prevent the product from being practical at any commercial level.Given the ongoing controversy over the viability of uBeam's

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. 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, so it's worth taking a look at Energous's technology, both in that context and as an example of the wireless charging techniques that are currently being pursued by tech companies. 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. 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. In early 2015, Energous also inked a deal with an unnamed consumer electronics company, positioned as one of the top five companies in the world. Names weren't mentioned, but that's a short list -- Apple, Samsung, HP, Microsoft, and Hitachi.

Apple Developing iPhone With Extended Range Wireless Charging for as Soon as 2017

Apple is reportedly developing a wirelessly-charged iPhone for as soon as 2017, according to Bloomberg. The company is working with its partners in both the U.S. and Asia to create the technology. Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, they said.Current wirelessly-charged devices require users to place their phones or other devices on charging mats. In September 2012, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said that the company wasn't sure of how convenient wireless charging is as most wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into a wall. In early January, it was reported that Apple was working on wireless charging for the iPhone 7. However, that report warned that the feature could be pulled from the iPhone 7 for a future iteration of the device as Apple is working on the technology currently. Apple has held an interest in wireless charging since the first iPhone, gaining patents for wireless charging stations and wireless charging through a near field magnetic resonance, which wirelessly charges a device within a certain region. The Cupertino company has also shown an interest in WiTricity's wireless charging technology, which uses "hidden charging" technology that allows magnetic fields to wrap

Wireless Charging Looks to Go Mainstream in 2015

As the largest consumer electronics show in the world, CES often gives us a hint of the technologies we can look forward to in the near future, based on the products that are shown off at the show. In 2013 and 2014, there was a heavy focus on wearables, and this year's emphasis on home automation suggests 2015 will be a big year for connected home products. There's one other important emerging technology that we may see explode over the course of the next few years -- wireless charging. Several companies, including Energous and WiTricity, demoed upcoming wireless charging solutions, and the Alliance for Wireless Power had a booth showing off how wireless charging will work in the Home of the Future. MacRumors had a chance to sit down with Alex Gruzen, the CEO of WiTricity, who walked us through the company's technology, its existing partnerships, and gave us details on when we might see the debut of the first products using WiTricity's technology, which uses the Rezence specification agreed upon by the Alliance for Wireless Power. WiTricity's wireless charging solutions, which we have covered multiple times in the past, works using magnetic resonance, which is able to transfer power over distances using the magnetic near-field. In the past, wireless charging solutions like the Powermat (which uses a competing technology from the Power Matters Alliance) have required the electronic device being charged to rest directly on the power source, but WiTricity's wireless charging technology is unique because it does not require direct contact. The magnetic field used