As you read this, you're more than likely surrounded by wireless signals. However, wouldn't it be great if those waves of energy could be utilized for purposes other than just delivering data? Apple sure thinks so, as its latest patent application thoroughly highlights.
The proposed patent is titled "Wireless Charging and Communications Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas", and refers to using wireless routers and other wireless hardware to keep devices - such as an iPhone or iPad - charged. Imagine never having to worry about the charge of your phone as long as you're inside yor home - it sounds almost too good to be true.
The best thing about this proposed tech is that it's not super-specific about which types of wireless could be used. Your 2.4GHz router could get in on the action, as well as your 5GHz one. Interestingly, the patent even references the 60GHz band, which is used for WiGig, tri-band tech that could deliver upwards of 7Gbps of bandwidth.
Illustrative patch antenna with dual ports
In order for this technology to work, special antennas would need to be used, which means that preexisting wireless hardware is unlikely to work. These antennas would be used to "beam" power over the same frequency as the wireless data, meaning that the same antenna could be used for both charging and data - a convenient design.
This kind of technology may be a ways off, but once it gets here, it could open up a new world for wireless charging. After all, let's be honest -- current wireless charging tech isn't that exciting, or convenient unless the charger is right beside you.