The iPad Smart Cover is an accessory that most iPad owners have with them. What if the Smart Cover could actually charge your iPad while it is not in use however? AppleInsider has recently brought our attention to an Apple patent filed in 2011 that could hint that Apple is actively investigating wireless charging for its line of portable devices.
The fruit company would implement it in a slightly different way however. Major manufactures have already been experimenting with wireless charging that involves replacing power cables with a single charging station. Apple has actually commented in the past that the reason it does not do the same thing is because it is far from ubiquitous.
Apple’s invention to enter the wireless charging field is titled “Integrated inductive charging in protective cover” and it appears to be a first-party incarnation of upcoming products that use inductive charging to transfer power to an iOS device. These components usually incorporate an induction coil and transformer that outputs power via a cord plugged into the device’s dock connector.
Apple is instead describing a tablet case, or more specifically an iPad Smart Cover, that would hold the inductive power transmitter. Essentially, there will be a battery embodied in the iPad Smart Cover that when closed on top of the iPad will start wirelessly charging it. This means you would simply have to recharge the iPad Smart Cover using a normal AC adapter from time-to-time and then when you are out and about it would start to recharge your iPad. The patent does also note that solar cells could be disposed in the outer layers to harvest ambient energy as well.
At this point and time current iPads do not contain the required inductive charging circuitry and as such this hints that Apple could be looking into this technology for a future model. What do you think of the idea of an iPad Smart Cover that acts as an external battery?