Is uBeam handy

Apple hires experts in wireless charging

Simon Lohmann

In order not to miss any possible innovations, Apple has been investing in start-ups for years and employing promising talent. With one of the latest hiring of two new employees, rumors are emerging again about a possible feature of the iPhone 7: wireless charging.

EnlargeThe Apple Watch can already be charged inductively.

As TheVerge reports, Apple has hired two former engineers from the startup named uBeam over the past four months. Accordingly, the new employees are experts in the field of wireless charging of smartphones. Thus, the team that deals with this feature at Apple should include more than twelve employees. These have been discontinued by the company within the past two years.

At the beginning of the year, there was speculation as to whether Apple would introduce the new battery technology in the new iPhone generation in 2017. However, the company does not want to be satisfied with conventional charging technology: a simple "mat" on which the smartphone can be placed for charging is not an option with Apple. According to rumors, Apple is planning to establish a new technology with which it would be possible to charge the smartphone without the device being on an external charging station. So the iPhone could theoretically be in your pocket and be charged at the same time.

The startup uBeam should also want to realize this idea, although Apple has already submitted corresponding patents in the past. As early as 2010, thought was given to the possibility of using the personal computer as a mobile and wireless support station.

Even if the technology for wireless charging is not yet fully developed, with some devices you can do without a cable interface when charging the batteries. For example, the Apple Watch can be charged using inductive charging technology. The only disadvantage: even with inductive charging technology, you can't move around very freely with the device. But that could change with a method currently called Ultrasound Technology. However, the company has not confirmed whether Apple is actually working on such a project with the help of the recently recruited employees.

Tried it: Charge the iPhone wirelessly

Inductive charging with the iPhone?

If you want to charge your iPhone without a cable, you don't have to wait for the next iPhone generation. As a user, however, you have to make certain sacrifices for this.

In order to be able to charge the smartphone inductively, the iPhone must have a special case through which the phone is charged. However, the variety of such cases is quite manageable on the market. The design of such inductive cases is usually quite simple and does not make a high-quality impression.

Such immature methods do not seem to be particularly popular: If you search various online retailers for inductive charging stations for the iPhone, you will find very few products that are suitable according to customer reviews. Most products, on the other hand, should often experience heat problems. Ultimately, most customer reviews advise against buying such technology, which is still quite immature. However, power banks with which smartphones cannot be charged wirelessly and inductively, but on the go at any time and place, are very popular.

It remains to be seen whether Apple will initiate a revolution in inductive charging with the iPhone 7, which will be released this year. However, some rumors speak for it.