Apple mulls new AirPods case for iPhone wireless charging

Apple’s wireless earphones the AirPods have been a sales success since their launch in December. A freshly uncovered patent application hints that the Cupertino company could be intent on building upon this by bringing out a new, redesigned AirPods case capable of wirelessly charging various Apple devices.

The currently available AirPods case can charge only the AirPods. However, the patent application unearthed by Patently Apple suggests ambitions extending far beyond this. The application specifies a secondary charging system where other devices – iPhones, iPods, iPads and MacBooks are cited as examples – could be re-powered through being placed in close proximity to the case.

Especially tantalizingly, the application also proposes this system’s potential ability to charge “holographic projection systems”. Patently Apple has interpreted this as possibly “relating to a method of delivering augmented reality” – and it would be unsurprising to see Apple follow up on this, given CEO Tim Cook’s recent talking up of augmented reality.

Elsewhere in the application, illustrations marked ‘FIG. 28’ and ‘FIG. 29’ portray what Patently Apple terms a “liquid-tight electrical connector”. A waterproof AirPods case would certainly be welcomed by those of us clumsy enough to occasionally drop our Apple products in water – or, quite simply, want to use them in outdoor settings where rain could start falling at inopportune moments.

As ever when analyzing patent application details produced by Apple, it’s worth noting that these details are not concrete evidence that Apple will certainly move ahead with any of the features or technologies outlined within. They do, however, provide insight into ideas that the firm is at least exploring.

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