Apple was recently awarded more than 27 patents which include a docking station that could potentially offer inductive charging via a “re-radiating antenna” and consequently boost the cellular signal of a handset when docked to it, reports AppleInsider.
Apple secured 27 new patents including inductive charging and multi-touch gestures for content resizing
The US Patent and Trademark Office have revealed a list of 27 patents which they have granted to Apple. In this list is one for a light sensitive display, multi-touch gestures for resizing content and scrolling lists and a process that would unlock a device using gestures.
However one of the most interesting of the patents is the “Antenna insert” application which was first revealed by Patently Apple. The patent details a docking station that would come with an antenna which would improve the integrity of the wireless signal, inductive charging circuits and possibly optical data or wireless links. The application details problems that have been seen in the past with wireless docks for phones. To lessen the risk of exposure to radiation companies are designing phones with antenna as far away from the user’s head as possible. The downside to this is that the design can result in problems with interference when the phone had been docked.
The invention of Apple’s would stave off this issue as the antenna would be on the docking station and would boost the wireless performance of any phone docked. With the use of an adapter this could mean that devices maintained correct antenna operation when they were attached to accessories.
The application for the re-radiating antenna could describe one or even more antennas which both receives along with transmitting RF signals. Antennas on docking stations could take advantage of wireless connectivity and be tuned into different frequency bands. The patent also explains the charging situations for the dock. These include inductive coupling for the circuit. Of course great care would then have to be taken to ensure that the design avoids interaction with the antenna and charging components.
The inventors of the patent have been listed as Victor Tiscareno, John Tang and Stephen Zadesky. Apple did file for intellectual property in 2008 and they have shown a lot of interest in inductive systems that could either be used in landscape or portrait modes. Another invention from them would be able to make use of the audio cable from headphones as the inductive charging coil.
iPhone 5 rumors
Whether any or all of these features would make it into the iPhone 5 remain open to speculation. We know Apple learned their lesson with the antennagate fiasco back when the iPhone 4 was released so are certain that the iPhone 5 will have thoughtfully placed antennas. Nevertheless any kind of signal boost is always a good thing.