Apple wants to integrate wireless charging surfaces on MacBooks

Even though it has long ignored wireless charging technology, adopting this technology only on the iPhone 8 / X generation, Apple seems to be betting on it from now on. Last year, Apple launched a new wireless charging accessory called MagSafe, as well as a dual travel charger with MagSafe for iPhone and Apple Watch. However, it seems that in the future, Apple’s wireless chargers could be integrated into other company products, such as MacBook laptops.

An Apple patent suggests that MacBooks could integrate wireless charging surfaces

A new Apple patent demonstrates in images how this technology would work. In the image we can see a MacBook over which are positioned an iPhone and an Apple Watch, on either side of the trackpad. In fact, the image also suggests that the trackpad could be a loading surface.

This idea is not exactly new, as other companies have already integrated wireless chargers into mobile (IKEA), or other PC peripherals (mousepads). However, it is hard to believe that such a solution is practical. To charge your phone or watch from a laptop in this way means that at that time you are no longer actively using the laptop, or at least not with its keyboard and trackpad.

However, for travel, this solution could be good, because you will not have to carry individual chargers and cables for each one. You can plug your laptop into an outlet and then charge other devices and accessories.

Another idea described in Apple’s patent suggests integrating up to nine charging zones directly into the laptop cover.

However, this solution is not without implementation problems. First of all, charging surfaces cannot be metallic, as wireless charging can only be done through plastic or glass. Then, the charging surfaces in use emit extra heat, and Apple laptops are not known for very efficient cooling solutions.

The last time Apple tried to create a device with multiple wireless charging coils in one place, the company had to cancel the product precisely because of the excessive heat.

Erin Smith
As our second lead editor, Erin Smith  provides guidance on the stories Nomad Labs reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers.  If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Erin. Erin received a BA and an MA from CSUF.