Another patent war may erupt in the near future as Apple filed a patent application for wireless charging, a technology that has been around for some time. However, the Cupertino-based company claims that its technology is new and better.
The patent application, numbered 20120303980, describes Apple's magnetic resonance charging technology as being able to charge a device over the air at a distance of up to a metre unlike most wireless charging solutions today where physical contact is required between the device and charging dock/mat.
Apple is not the only company that is developing wireless charging technology from a distance. Although it filed the application in November 2010, another tech startup WiPower applied a similar one in 2008 which was subsequently acquired by Qualcomm. The patent then became part of the Alliance for Wireless Power after Qualcomm and Samsung announced the formation of the organization.
Wireless charging is shaping up to be an emerging trend as Nokia and Google have launched devices that support this technology recently. The Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and LG Nexus 4 use the Qi wireless charging standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). Other companies such as Intel, LG and Toshiba also have invested in wireless charging technologies for their mobile offerings.