Apple recently filed a patent for technology that powers devices through movement, meaning future versions of iPhones, iPods, and iPads could possibly come equipped with this technology.
The patent, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under the title “Harnessing Power Through Electromagnetic Induction Utilizing Printed Coils,” uses one or more moveable magnets adjacent to the printed coils on a circuit.
As published in the patent:
“Systems for harnessing power through electromagnetic induction utilizing printed coils are provided. A system can include one or more moveable magnets adjacent to printed coils on a circuit. For example, a system can include one or more magnets that are operative to move alongside a circuit board that includes printed coils. The one or more magnets may move, for example, when a user shakes the system or when the user walks or runs while holding the device. The movement of the one or more magnets may create an electromotive force (e.g., a voltage) across the printed coils, and this force may be used to generate electric power.”
Powering devices through movement is not a new concept, but Apple’s design is a unique way that hasn’t been done before. The copper coils are printed in dense layers, making it ideal to squeeze into something as small as an iPhone. When the coils interact with a moveable magnet array, power begins to generate that could add a little juice to the battery life. In the future, a little fine tuning could allow a process like this to generate a large portion of the power used by our small electronic devices.
One of the biggest complaints of the average smartphone user seems to be the quick battery drainage, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw this in Apple products sooner rather than later. It certainly would be nice to charge your phone simply by shaking it or going for a walk with it in your pocket, wouldn’t it?
Image CC licensed by araza123: iPhone