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A number of charging pads exist to charge and sync your mobile device, but Apple is taking it a step further.  The company has filed a patent for a smart charging pad that will actually sync or charge your mobile device depending on how it’s positioned on the pad.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the patent, termed “service orientation based docking functions,” allows the pad or device to determine what function should be chosen based on the “physical orientation of the user device on the surface.”  In other words, the charging pad will know what you want to do (sync, charge, transfer data, run diagnostics, etc.) based on how your device is oriented.

As described in the patent, depending on how you place your device (face-up or face-down), or at certain rotations, certain spot or a certain distance from another device, the pad will automatically perform a particular function. For example, placing the device face down would tell the pad to charge it, while placing it face up would trigger the pad to sync its data with your computer as well as charge the device.

Apple Patent

You also could put more than one mobile device on the pad so that all of them are charged or synced at the same time.   Apple has also added in the patent the possibility of building the charging pad into a laptop, allowing you to charge your devices on the fly.  As the patent describes it:

“Systems and method are provided for selecting one or more docking functions based on a physical orientation of a user device coupled to a docking device. The docking device may include a surface upon which the user device may be placed. Docking functions such as charging, data transfer, data synchronization, diagnostic checking, or other functions may be selected, performed, or both, based on the physical orientation of the user device on the surface.”

The name of this new device is anyone’s guess, as iPad is already taken.


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