According to Apple's most recent patent application, "Wireless power utilization in a local computing environment," you could soon be charging your iOS device simply by keeping it close to your computer system.
In case this sounds too pedestrian for you, the research comes from the field of midrange wireless power transfer physics. Near field magnetic resonance is used to power devices within 1 meter of the power base. Without a mat or extra case.
According to the report by physorg.com, Apple did not specifically mention which devices may take advantage of this research, but it is easy to assume that it is meant for the mobile world.
So, instead of fumbling through your bag or lamenting on the recent destruction of your 30-pin dock connector because of an overzealous puppy to charge your iPhone, you would only have to be around an NFMR source to get your iOS device back up and running.
Of course these patents have a way of disappearing for several years, if we ever see something from them, but it does outline at least some of the way Apple is thinking about its future. Earlier patents for a combined power adapter and rechargeable battery pack show that Apple is indeed attempting to streamline end user power experiences.
What do you think about midrange wireless power transfer physics? Let me know in the comments!