Microsoft patent could mean 'ultrafast' wireless charging for future Surface PCs

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."

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

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