Apple has been busy; three new patents filed with the United States Patent Office reveal that they are continuing to consume intellectual property relating to the use of Thunderbolt on their devices.
The theory, as suggested by Patently Apple is that integration of Thunderbolt technology with iOS-based devices would allow faster recharging and rapid data transfer.
Based on Thunderbolts technology being derived from DisplayPort technology there may also be potential in using iOS devices as media hosts (for higher resolution material that may not stream as well using wireless options like AirPlay) or for creating even smaller and more compact Mac desktop options.
Of course, as Patently Apple also points out, the existing Thunderbolt connector is a little large for an iOS device and would need to be re-engineered to be similar in size to current USB-type connectors. This kind of change could be frustrating for existing Thunderbolt users as it will mean new cables or a supply of adapters!
One of the things that makes these new patents so interesting is that technically the development of this technology was a joint-project between Apple and Intel, which has us wondering who actually owns it?
I’m excited by the idea of faster recharging, especially for my iPhone given how often it has to happen, but I am less interested in the faster data transfer given how many things I do (and will continue to do) wirelessly. Now, if it means my iPhone or iPad can function as a host machine and not just a supported peripheral… then I might want to hear more. Of course I’m starting to think about how iOS devices might attach to external storage, which could make back-ups that aren’t done to iCloud a little easier and more convenient, okay the more I think about it the more I like the idea.