Apple has filed a patent application for what appears to be a system that could one day charge your phone from across the room.
The new patent describes a system that could supply power to multiple devices, using both wired and wireless connections.
Long-range wireless charging has faced a number of challenges, including issues with distance and power availability, and safety requirements – but, the patent reveals Apple may have come up with a few workarounds, according to the Daily Mail.
The patent, spotted by 9to5Mac, was published on December 28.
An image accompanying the description shows how a power adapter could be linked to multiple electronic devices, all of which are in the same communications network.
"A system may have a power adapter with multiple ports for supply power," a summary of the patent states.
"The electronic devices may include devices such as cellular telephones, wristwatch devices, laptop computers, and tablet computers.
"The power adapter may supply power using wired links and wireless links."
The patent suggests Apple is looking into ways to prioritize the different devices within the system's range, so as to ensure the limited amount of power goes to where it's needed.
This could mean you indicate which devices are more important, such as an iPhone over iPad, 9to5Mac explains.
Or, it may also allow for prioritization based on your history of use.
"The computing equipment may communicate with the electronic devices or power adapter over a communications network," the patent notes.
"The power adapter or other components in the system may gather information from the online account, from the electronic devices, and/or from the power adapter to use in identifying an optimum power transfer strategy for the power adapter to use in transferring power to each of the electronic devices.
"The optimum power transfer strategy may involve transmitting different amounts of power to different electronic devices."
As the patent notes, the system could rely on information from the user and the devices themselves to determine the power distribution.
This could include device charging priority settings, battery charge state information, device type information, usage history information, and calendar information.
Similar radio-frequency long-range charging systems have recently gained FCC approval.
And, the patent suggests Apple could be trying to get in on the shift as well.
It's unclear at this point, however, if the system described in the patent will ever come to life.