Your power management could be getting a whole lot smarter. Apple has just been granted a patent that details an intelligent dock connector able to properly adjust power levels for multiple connected devices from a single outlet source.
As with other power-related patents that Apple has applied for in the past, the technology involved here seems to be exactly the kind of thing people, including myself, have been waiting for. In a time when everything needs to be charged, be it a MacBook Pro, an iPad 2, or an iPhone 4S, having a one-and-done solution is certainly the solution many of us want.
The patent, uncovered by Patently Apple, lists some of the many functions the intelligent adapter could tackle.
- "Prevent a portable computing device from drawing a high level of current that could be detrimental to an accessory, such as a cable."
- "Allow a battery pack or other accessory to instruct a portable computing device to not charge its internal battery."
- "Allow a portable computing device to determine which power supply among multiple power supplies should be used to power an accessory."
- "Allow an accessory to get charging current parameters from a portable computing device."
Two rumor-starting inclusions in the patent application are sure to get blog sites rolling. One shows an iPad-ish device with a 30-pin dock connector port on both the vertical and the horizontal sides. That was a rumor that was floating around for the iPad 2 and may very well pick up for the iPad 3. Personally, I cannot see why Apple would do this. If for no other reason, it would be an aesthetic nightmare.
Second, the patent mentions docking a monitor, which may very well signal the (just a rumor) forthcoming iTV or Apple-branded television set. We should all recall that Apple does sell a display though, thus making the inclusion of a display dock nothing to jump about (yet).
If this product comes to market, it could be the ultimate docking station for Apple products--a single spot to charge your iPhone, MacBook, and iPod, without having to worry about grabbing different cables and connectors. It's pretty ingenious and I imagine I'll be among the first to order one.
Is a single docking solution something you'd be interested in purchasing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!