Microsoft patent could mean 'ultrafast' wireless charging for future Surface PCs
Microsoft might just have a solution for getting batteries for future Surfaces and other devices topped off much faster – without a mess of wires.
According to a freshly published patent, Microsoft has its eye on the future of charging our neverending stable of electronic devices, and it promises to be "ultrafast." In the filing, first unearthed by Windows Latest, Microsoft describes a novel wireless charging method that could bypass the limitations currently posed by wireless charging tech.
As wireless charging is currently implemented, a single charging coil is used to juice up battery modules when placed on a charger. Microsoft's patent proposes a solution that would utilize a smart battery made up of multiple modules, each with its own charging coil that overlaps with those around it. Each coil would be able to receive power in concert with the others, with an integrated controller managing the power supply independently for each module, based on a number of conditions.
The result of such a configuration would be much more rapid wireless charging on future devices that implement the tech. That could certainly include Microsoft's own devices, like Surface Go, Surface Pro, and Surface Book. But the patent is broadly applicable to a wide variety of consumer tech, including fitness wearables, IoT devices, and the PC and tablet market at large.
"Conventional solutions for wireless charging smart batteries do not utilize more than one charging coil per battery and did not take into consideration the physical configuration of the charging coils of the smart battery. Moreover, conventional solutions did not manage each battery module differently and independently from other battery modules of the smart battery system, thereby decreasing the functionality and flexibility of the smart battery," Microsoft says. "Accordingly, the present methods and apparatuses may provide an efficient solution, as compared to conventional solutions, by providing ultrafast charging of a smart battery."
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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl.
True, Microsoft has always been like that but I fear it could be something else other than stack ranking and each department operating almost as a seperate company. I'm sure Microsoft could develop such technology but given the broad and vague nature of patents (legally) it may prove difficult and also they don't exactly have the best track record when it comes to implementation - Tap to Pay is a primary example. However due to the nature of wireless charging, you need to take into consideration health + safety as you cannot supply too much energy through a charging coil as it will cause it to heat up. If they could get a material that can output massive amounts of energy without heating up drastically then it would be possible. Otherwise you'll end up situation where the coil will heat up like a kettle heating element lol. So you will have to optimise the coil size and energy output - which is why the only logical way to do that is to have individual coils which are able to sense the charge capacity of each battery pack and adjust accordingly. As well as being no bigger than a certain size and not exceeding a fixed energy output level.