Apple’s New Patent Hints Future iPhones May Not Include Lightning Ports
Apple recently lodged a fresh technology patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office, which suggests that the firm is developing a way to transmit data and power via electromagnetic waves, which is supposed to totally eliminate Lightning ports, but also toiled as a new technique to prevent water and dust from entering its mobile devices, making them more resilient to water damage.
Apple disclosed a waveguide structure in the patent application, the waveguide is said to consist of a dielectric core and a cladding, and the dielectric core may consist of a strong dielectric material that performs radio waves at a frequency of one or more millimeters, thus allowing data and power transmission.
Such technology not only allows data to be transferred at a higher speed than the conductive wires can be achieved because the maximum frequency at which data can be transferred through the conductive wires could be limited, yet also eliminates the need for a Lightning port, making iPhones even more waterproof.
Waveguides are structures that enable wave signals to propagate with minimal loss of energy. Waveguides are particularly useful for transmitting waves that are not normally capable of efficient transmission in the atmosphere. As an example, very high frequency waves (e.g., millimeter waves) that easily disperse in the atmosphere can be contained within a waveguide to prevent dispersion of transmitted signals. By enabling the transmission of millimeter waves, transmissions performed at frequencies substantially higher than that of conductive wires (e.g., tens or even hundreds of gigahertz (GHz)) can be achieved.
Apple applies for patents covering various fields every week, although the application shows regions of interest of the company, there is no assurance that these features will appear in their future products.