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Apple Patents Digital Crown Fast Charging Functionality

February 16, 2017

Some of us traditional watch owners miss winding our watches to power them up. According to a report from Patently Apple, that same motion may be used for fast charging future Apple Watches.

While it is not a brand new patent, it was first granted back in September, it has been published today with some changes. According to Patently Apple:

“The patent covers possibly adding a new function to the Digital Crown: Fast Charging – a new method of providing Apple Watch with an added boost of power when it’s running low. Apple has since that time filed for a patent that would embed a charger into one Apple watch band design.”

Here are the new patent claims that Apple has added:

Patent Claim #12: The portable electronic device of claim 8, further comprising: a power supply that is included within the enclosure, wherein the power supply is configured to receive the electrical energy.

Patent Claim #14: An electronic device that includes a contact-free charging mechanism, the electronic device comprising: a housing including an interface region that is included between a magnetic element that is external to the housing and a coil element that is disposed within an interior cavity of the housing, wherein the coil element is configured to rotate in a substantially similar direction as an externally applied rotating magnetic field generated by the magnetic element; and a charge generator that is coupled to the coil element and is disposed within the interior cavity, wherein the charge generator creates electrical energy based on rotation of the coil element.

Patent Claim #18: The electronic device of claim 14, further comprising: a power supply that is included within the interior cavity, wherein the power supply is configured to receive the electrical energy.

Patent Claim #19: The electronic device of claim 14, wherein the coil element rotates proportionately relative to the externally applied rotating magnetic field.

Patent Claim #20: The electronic device of claim 14, wherein the housing is comprised of a magnetically neutral material.

 

Remember, just because Apple obtains a patent, it doesn’t mean Apple will necessarily use the technology, only that they want to legally protect it. But you never know, we may find ourselves winding our watches to charge them again in the future. You can read Patently Apple’s full report here.