Latest Apple Patents: A New Fuel Cell Battery System and an Alternative Back Up Option
Apple files various patents each year, some of which are part of its routine filing of patents. These patent applications open up numerous possibilities of Apple incorporating new, innovative ideas into the current and future iPhones and MacBooks.
Here are two of the latest patents the tech giant filed.
A New Fuel Cell Battery System That Can Power MacBooks for Days or Weeks
Life would be much easier if laptops could actually function continuously for many days and weeks without the need to recharge repeatedly. Apple recently renewed its 2010 patent that describes a battery system capable of powering portable electronic devices, most likely MacBooks, for days or even weeks. The compact and economical fuel cell system may use several energy sources to provide lasting power.
Possible energy sources mentioned in the patent include compressed or liquid hydrogen and hydrocarbon, magnesium hydride, lithium hydride, sodium silicate, and borohydride. Fuel cells provide power through a combination of a fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidizing agent, such as water. Apple’s patent features fuel sources that would be mixed with water.
Unlike regular batteries that need frequent charging, Apple’s patent describes a fuel cell system that uses a removable cartridge that could be inserted once the power runs out. It may also function alongside a regular battery.
A System That Allows You To Back Up Files With a Friend
Apple’s patent describes a peer-to-peer backup system that offers mobile device users the option to back up valuable data on an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch by using a nearby friend’s device with Internet access if their own devices don’t have a network connection.
The ad hoc network works by enabling a group of mobile devices connected via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or NFC to create their own network, which can be used to save essential data from a device that temporarily cannot connect to backup services, such as iCloud. Apple likely envisions a system similar to AirDrop, in which a device scans for nearby devices and sends requests for friends to join the backup process.
The user requiring the backup would receive a notification when the transmitted data is available from the friend’s device, and he would be able to retrieve and restore the backup data at a later time. He could also send instructions to the friend’s device if safekeeping is not needed any more, meaning the files would be automatically deleted or removed from the friend’s device after a particular period. The files would also be deleted if they are transmitted to the network-based storage system.
The backup system would only allow devices with sufficient storage space, bandwidth and battery charge to participate in the network. All backed-up data would be encrypted and include a timestamp to ensure security.
While filing these patents does not quite clearly indicate that Apple will incorporate them into existing or new products, they give us a glimpse of the possible improvements that will solve common problems, especially battery issues. Hopefully, Apple offers much better solutions in the coming years, knowing that it’s a company that fosters active innovation and creativity.