Apple sent out innovations to a media event for October 22nd at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. The invitation simply says, “We still have a lot to cover.”
Although, Apple hasn’t said exactly what they will be covering, it’s clear iPads will be a big part of the event. Other things that could be announced at the event include, an updated Apple TV, new MacBook Pros, the new Mac Pro and more details about the release of OS X Mavericks. Apple also typically updates their iPod lineup during this part of the year, but they could simply up the gigabytes of storage or leave the iPod lineup as it is.
New iPad Smart Covers?
The invitation of the event is interesting because Apple sometimes will drop a subtle hint about the event in the invitation. The phrase, “We still have a lot to cover” could suggest a new smart cover for iPads. What’s interesting is Apple on March 14, 2013, a patent application from Apple was published with the title “Integrated Inductive Charging in Protective Cover.” The patent was filed September 12, 2011. Which shows Apple has had at least a few years to work on the Smart Cover in the patent.
The patent reveals a way to wirelessly charge an iPad using a Smart Cover. The patent explains how the Smart Cover could work using induced power to charge the iPad when the cover is closed.
An inductive power transmission element incorporated into the body portion arranged to combine with an inductive power reception element in the tablet device to form an inductive power transfer circuit configured to wirelessly pass power from the protective cover and the tablet device.
Apple also explains the reasoning behind the need for wireless charging in the patent application.
Although a variety of standards have been developed for providing wireless communication with electronic devices, these devices continue to be plagued with a need for corded power supplies. Typically, each electronic device requires a separate power supply cord. These cords are a burden to use, store and carrying around as needed. Cords can be unsightly and substantially hinder portable device mobility.
Therefore, a method of delivering useful power to a portable computing device, such as a tablet device, that is both efficient and does not distract from the inherent aesthetics of the tablet device is desired.
The Smart Cover could need a power cord to recharge batteries incorporated in the cover, although the patent also suggests solar cells could also be used as well.
We have no inside knowledge that Apple plans to release a new Smart Cover that incorporates inductive charging at the upcoming event, but the patent with the subtle hint in the invitation suggests a decent possibility of it happening.