Imagine walking into an Apple Retail store and, instead of having to wait around for some college kid to check his email on the demo model of the iPad, or a 10-year-old to finish playing Angry Birds on the iPhone, you could walk in and have your choice of any gadget on the shelf to play with because, not only is it packaged to give you complete access to the touch screen, but it is fully charged and software updated.
We may not have to imagine such a euphoric scenario much longer. Apple has applied for a patent for battery chargeable packaging. That’s right, wireless charging for devices while they are still on store shelves.
Yesterday, Apple Insider discovered United States Patent Application 20120081213, which is titled, “Active Electronic Media Packaging.” The patent relates to “active packaging for electronic media devices that allows power, data, or both power and data to be supplied to one or more electronic devices housed within the active packaging.”
The packaging would be comprised of housing for the gadget with at least one wire trace configured to supply power to it, and at least one electrical contact coupled to the wire trace. It would have a method for displaying media content on the device that is housed in the “active packaging” that is comprised of a power receiver that would enable a wireless network interface to receive media content.
Basically, this invention would make it possible to redesign packaging for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad so that, instead of the crisp cardboard box with a picture on it, the mobile device would be accessible, at least the screen would be. Customers would be able to actually use the device without having to open the packaging first. The power transmitter would take care of battery charging and the wireless network interface would take care of software updates and allow full interaction with customers and the device.
Hopefully, this patent will come to fruition. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to wait around to try out an Apple product because grandpa can’t figure out how to take a picture with an iPhone. No offense grandpa, I just want to play too.