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A new patent (number 2012024673) at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office shows that Apple is working on an inductive charging mat for its iOS devices. The patent is for device-orientation based docking functions.
Systems and method are provided for selecting one or more docking functions based on a physical orientation of a user device coupled to a docking device. The docking device may include a surface upon which the user device may be placed. Docking functions such as charging, data transfer, data synchronization, diagnostic checking, or other functions may be selected, performed, or both, based on the physical orientation of the user device on the surface.
Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "A user device such as a smart phone, digital camera, or personal media player may be docked to a docking device, which may allow for charging and data transmittal. Some docking devices may provide induction charging to charge a user device, when the user device is placed on a charging surface. The user device may include circuitry which may respond to a magnetic field provided by the charging surface. Data may be transmitted between a user device and a docking device, or a host device, when the user device is docked.
"This disclosure relates to systems and methods for docking a user device. A surface may be provided, upon which a user device may be placed. A determination may be made, by the user device, a docking device, or other processing equipment, as to whether the user device has been placed on the surface. Based on this determination, a docking function may be selected from more than one docking function based on the physical orientation of the user device on the surface.
Jorge S. Fino is the inventor.