Apple Patent Hints at Some Pretty Cool Capabilities for iPhone MagSafe Cases
When Apple announced that the new iPhone 12 would be compatible with its MagSafe technology, the first thought was chargers and accessories. Things like phone wallets and grips will be able to be attached magnetically rather than with adhesive, opening the door to new options for branding on smartphones.
Apple isn’t getting comfortable with just aesthetics, though (despite many detractors saying that’s all they’re concerned about over there). A recently approved patent shows that Apple is looking for ways to use MagSafe technology to allow accessories to do more than just protect a phone.
Apple Insider provided some details on the new patent, which covers a new “Smart case for a portable electronic device,” which would communicate with the smartphone to let it know that it’s wearing a case. If the iPhone “knows” that it has a case equipped, it could “get permission” to work a little harder, and therefore heat up a little bit, without damaging the user’s hand.
Once the user takes the case off, the iPhone would recognize that it’s unprotected, and the operating system would throttle its processor to keep it cool.
The patent application included a case design that featured a magnetic field. Apple’s application also implied that different magnetic configurations could allow the iPhone to discern between types of cases. Some cases might be able to handle higher temperatures than others, so different cases would tell the iPhone how to handle its processing power accordingly.
Case detection isn’t new for this generation of the iPhone, as new MagSafe cases allow for the iPhone to detect the color of the case and display a matching animation. With that technology already in place, the thermal control through MagSafe case technology doesn’t seem like a far stretch.
And as people eventually pick up the new iPhone, they’ll want to maximize their utilization of its features. Little things like matching your phone background to your case is fun, but using a smartphone case to directly impact your phone’s processing power and safety makes a real difference.
We’re still only a little over month into this generation of iPhone’s life, and the advancements are coming quickly. If previous Apple design is any indication, we’ll likely see MagSafe on future iPhone designs, too. Products like phone wallets, protective cases and grips are already wildly popular as branded gifts and promotional items. If promo businesses and marketers can implement the latest technology while it’s still hot, then they can stand out from the competition living in the past.