Apple's Shake-To-Charge Patent Trades Calories For Battery Life

Its larger form factor and bigger battery mean the iPhone 5 should last longer on a single charge. But to overcome the fact that battery technology still basically sucks, Apple has applied for a 'shake to charge' patent that uses electromagnetic induction to convert everyday motions into extra battery life.

In Apple's system, a small lubricated magnet would move across a series of printed coils inside an iPhone or iPod, inducing a small current which could be used to generate power and charge the battery. What sets Apple's design apart from the various radios and flashlights that already use this approach is the flat coils which can be easily printed using modern circuit production techniques.

Just don't expect this to be the flagship feature on the iPhone 5S. Smartphones use far more power than this induction system could ever replenish, even with continuous vigorous shaking. But as their components get more energy efficient, somewhere way down the line this could be a plausible alternative to plugging in your phone every night.

[US Patent and Trademark Office via Apple Insider]


Comments

    Isn't this kind of thing already being used for torches?

    How can this possibly be patentable?
    Watches have had this technology (or very similar) for years!
    Seiko Kinetic anyone?

      And before that a free spinning wheel with counterweight on one side and geared into the wound-spring mechanism.
      I remember my grandfather explaining this mechnaism of his watch to me as a kid, and how it got a bit slow if he didn't move enough. My dive watch had the same mechanism, and despite being on a shelf for a decade or more now it will still spring back to life if i pick it up and give it a wiggle.
      Given the sheer length of coil could be printed into a device like this patent, and the power of new magnets, it's possible this would be more useful that people imagine. Assuming the mechanism can capitalise on the typical phone-type movements.

      Good thing apple cant get away with this nonsense anymore

      http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/patent-busting-crowdsourced/

      If your motivated jump on the stack exchange site and submit that Seiko as prior art

    Its already patented under the name iFap.

      That's actually a company name... for a few comapnies actually:
      http://www.ifap.asn.au/
      http://www.ifap.org/
      Load of fappers.

    While I don't think this will ever replace normal charging, It might be something that could be added to add extra power to the phone over the course of a day. It might only give less than 10% charge a day but that will certainly help with the power hungry smartphones of today

    Yeah my watch does that its noting fancy or "new" its called Kinetic energy ..... fanboi fail.

    I guess Apple fans are wankers and would be used to this sort of motion :P

    Obvious target here is the Nano / Shuffle, if you jog you can keep your iPod in the car and never have to bother with charging it. Hope this makes it to production!

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