Apple has been granted two patents that describe adding two-way wireless charging to its devices (via 9to5Mac). The patents, first spotted by Patently Apple, include drawings that show a MacBook charging various devices, including an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, as well as drawings of iPads and iPhones doing the same.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because many other phone makers have released devices with similar reverse wireless charging technology. Although Apple’s take is a little different. According to the patent images, a MacBook’s lid, palm rest, or trackpad could be used to charge a wireless charging-compatible iOS device.
The problem the patents claim to solve is the one where you may find yourself without enough outlets, power bricks, or any electricity at all. The patents state that “despite having standardized connectors and cable[s], each device may require a separate or dedicated power supply to charge. In some cases, having separate power supplies for each device may be burdensome to use, store, and/or transport.” (Of course, having separate power bricks for your devices is also made more difficult when they aren’t included in the box.)
There are other times when this kind of tech could be useful. For example, if you’re away from a charger and your Apple Watch or AirPods die, it’d be useful to be able to top them up with your phone. Likewise, being able to charge your phone from your laptop would be useful, and if Apple is truly heading toward a portless iPhone, this type of tech could be a way to retain that functionality.
Right now, MacBooks and iPads are made out of aluminum, which isn’t compatible with wireless charging. If Apple wants to include this reverse wireless charging tech in its devices, it’ll have to design…