Science & Tech

Future MagSafe could transmit data and authenticate users through peripherals

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Apple has been researching methods to advance MagSafe to hold knowledge wirelessly like Lightning does over a cable now, plus easy methods to acknowledge and authenticate equipment.

Proper now, you may place a MagSafe-compatible iPhone onto a MagSafe charger, and it’ll cost. You possibly can add an MagSafe iPhone case and the telephone will nonetheless cost by means of it.

Nevertheless, Apple says that at current, there are “some drawbacks” to how MagSafe works. “Accessory Devices That Communicate With Electronic Devices,” is a newly-revealed patent utility that lays out the issue, and has options that imply making MagSafe smarter.

“For instance, some accessory devices inadvertently form a “warmth lure” by virtue of their position on the electronic device,” says Apple. “Moreover, advances in processor technology provide faster processing speeds for electronic devices, but generate more heat during operation.”

Consequently, Apple says that, “several electronic devices” are designed to “throttle down” the processor when a sure temperature is reached. Relying on the system and on the temperature, some units could shut themselves down.

“Accordingly, some users are required to choose between protecting their electronic device (with the accessory device),” continues Apple, “or permitting greater processing capabilities (without the accessory device protecting their electronic device).”

Apple proposes that the digital system, equivalent to an iPhone, accommodates “a magnetic field sensor configured to detect a magnetic field from a magnetic assembly external to the housing.” In different phrases, the iPhone would be capable to acknowledge when there’s a MagSafe accent hooked up.

Extra, the iPhone may “compare the magnetic field detected by the magnetic field sensor with a predetermined magnetic field.” The iPhone may subsequently distinguish between, say, a MagSafe charger, and a MagSafe iPhone case.

Figuring out the distinction, the iPhone’s charging elements may swap off charging at totally different temperatures. It might have a decrease temperature threshold set for when the iPhone was in a case, as an example.

This means a relatively crude recognition in comparison with extra elaborate ones in the identical patent utility. This primary stage of recognition may presume a case or a naked charger, with out specific figuring out knowledge being handed to it.

Apple suggests a second stage of recognition, although, during which knowledge is handed by means of the MagSafe system in an adjunct.

“The accessory device may further include a wireless communication circuit disposed in the bottom wall,” says Apple. “The wireless communication circuit may be configured to transmit information to the portable electronic device subsequent to an authentication based upon the magnetic field vector.”

Detail from the patent applications, showing MagSafe on a future iPhone that can read data from it

Apple implies that the MagSafe accent may inform iOS of it tolerances, as an example, however the patent utility is extra involved right here with how knowledge might be transmitted.

As soon as knowledge might be despatched by way of MagSafe, although, it opens up entire different areas of utility. This proposal already accommodates that reference to “an authentication based upon the magnetic field vector,” as an example, and that may very well be expanded on.

An iPhone would possibly first acknowledge {that a} MagSafe accent is shut, then search for any sort of knowledge that may very well be on it. That knowledge may comprise identification, which means that by means of this identical system, MagSafe may very well be used as a key.

A second, newly-revealed patent utility, “Electronic Devices Including Glass Ceramic Components,” seems to probably be associated to this concept.

“[A] glass ceramic cover member may be configured to have magnetic properties,” it says, “suitable for use over a component of a wireless charging system.”

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