Taking wireless charge at Apple

Wireless power accessory maker WiQiQi is offering an adapter for the iPhone that enables it to work with Qi wireless chargers. Unlike many such adapter cases that extend the bottom of the iPhone in order to , it slips unobtrusively into the Lightning connector and bends to the back of the iPhone so that you’d hardly know it was there if you had the iPhone in a slim opaque case — that is, unless, you tried plugging something into the Lightning port, which can accommodate only one connector at a time.

From a usability standpoint, Apple’s not down with Qi for reasons that are likely similar to its aversion to NFC, that is, having to keep the phone in one place. In Qi’s case, the argument goes, if you’re going to lay it resting somewhere, you may as well plug it in. Also, as with NFC, the phone has to be in a specific orientation for the charging to work. Of course, we are all holding out for true  ubiquitous wireless electricity.

Indulging in a bit of sci-fi, the company could achieve a coup if it could develop some way that the entire surface and sides of, say, an iPhone or iPad could be accept a charge. This would allow it to charge by placing it on an easel-like stand the way the TouchPad was able to, or charge by being in a clamshell-type case like one for the Brydge iPad keyboard. In addition, if small bits of data could be transferred this way, it would allow Apple to outdo Surface. You could snap on a keyboard cover to either side or attach the power cable to virtually any part of the device. Ladies and gentlemen, start your patent applications.

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