Picture yourself out there doing field work with your colleague when all of a sudden you get that disappointing battery-low warning tone from your smartphone. But you need not worry as your colleague has an almost full battery on their smartphone. By just swiping your phone to theirs, your device gets recharged, with battery charge from charged phone being shared with one that is low power.
That is the future Sony has envisioned and is working hard to make a reality in the future. The company has earned a patent, for a new technology that will allow consumers devices such as smartphones to transfer battery power between each other.
This feature will leverage on Near-Field Communication (NFC), which is currently being used to facilitate contactless payments and enabling smartphones to communicate with nearby devices. Sony wants to use NFC to allow, say, a smartphone with a low battery to suck up power from another with more battery power. In essence, smartphones could start sharing battery power wirelessly.
In part, the Sony patent reads: “It can be beneficial in many instances to allow consumer electronic devices to wirelessly transmit and /or share power between two or more consumer electronic devices. For example, some embodiments allow one cell phone to obtain power from and/or use battery power from another cell phone.”
Before you get excited about the many instances you will be able to piggy bank on your friend’s charge; for every time you forget to charge your phone and simply borrow power from friend’s phone. Remember Sony has just obtained a patent right to this technology, and in no way does it imply it is something that will happen, more often than not, patents remains just that patents.
A company might start executing a patent only to come across an insurmountable hurdle they had not envisioned when coming up with the idea. Forcing them to abandon the idea, but still have a patent; a patent that may never come to a realization.