Sony wants to turn your phone into a power vampire
by Kaloyan C. / Mar 16, 2017, 5:51 AM
Outlandish patent applications are a dime a dozen these days, yet a few of them warrant mentioning due to just how scarily close to reality they can be. One such case is one of Sony's latest granted patents, which proposes the idea of devices wirelessly leeching power from others in their vicinity, which gives off some serious Dracula vibes. This is a terrible idea by all accounts, but what scares us the most is that Sony might just do it.
So let's begin: patent application US 20170064283 describes "a method for configuring wireless power and data transfer between consumer electronic (CE) devices," or in other words, a combination of wireless charging and near-field communication. The problems with this are many: firstly, as anyone who's ever used wireless charging can tell you, the technology is finicky and relies on the phone being placed on a very specific position on top of the charger. And this is because, at least for now, charging works in an extremely short range, actually making it more restrictive than the classic wired solution. Now imagine having to position two phones perfectly on top of each other, while also completely giving up on using either one of them.
And this is just the beginning, as we haven't even touched the problem of power efficiency, which is miserable in most implementations. In other words, you'll drain much more battery power than you'll receive, resulting in a considerable net minus. And as for those batteries: the most commonly used type, Li-ion, isn't going anywhere any time soon, despite suffering from major power capacity reduction in a short span of time. So imagine how much worse your already failing year-old battery will get if another device starts regularly leeching off of it.
Granted, this is a very short-sighted view of the patent, which, for some reason, covers data transfer as well as wireless charging, making the idea a weird alternative to the old idea of wireless peer-to-peer networks. Also notable is the fact that the application specifically addresses the latter of the above problems with a paragraph devoted to preventing devices running on battery power from supplying it to others.
In any case, the technology for this patent simply isn't here yet, even if recent rumors have suggested it may be coming in the near future (but from Apple, rather than Sony). Still, the biggest hurdle for implementing at least some variation of this is shrinking down the power supply mechanism and figuring out how to cram it into a phone. And if Sony manages to do that, it might just put it in its next flagship, despite the general uselessness of it, à la Samsung and its heartbeat sensors.
Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 15, 2014
Sony should fix its camera app and headphone port problems first before going all vampire.
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 5:59 AM 2
Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016
You're right too bruh. Heck, this article said: "In any case, the technology for this patent simply isn't here yet, even if recent rumors have suggested it may be coming in the near future (but from Apple, rather than Sony)" Not sure about that.
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 6:11 AM 1
Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012
NEVER had a problem with the headphone port with my Z2 and Z5 Premium after successive updates. What are you talking about? But yeah, manual controls would be great. Though on a marketing standpoint, understandable. I mean, why would you buy an Alpha MILC camera when your XZ Premium has manual controls and shoots significantly better photos than the pricier camera with more overhead and price gouging?
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 6:47 AM 2
I know nothing about what this person is claiming, but anecdotal evidence doesn't prove anything one way or another. It's like claiming that because I have personally never seen a grizzly bear in the wild, they must not exist. But yeah, I do hope they include manual controls. Especially since I'm looking at Sony as a brand to pick up this year, potentially.
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 10:48 AM 0
Posts: 3938; Member since: Oct 03, 2015
Just sitting in a room full of people with phones and turn on vamp mode to leach all the energy you need to charge your battery. That is what I imagined lol, s**t would funny as hell it happened really quick and phones just started dying out of no where, would be like having a super power, turn my Sony phone into Cole from infamous ha.
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 7:08 AM 1
Posts: 2942; Member since: Jul 02, 2014
Does the other phone turns vamp too? Because if you have been bitten by a vamp, you'll be turning one yourself.
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 7:21 AM 2
Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012
Retarded patent. If this works for real, there should be an on and off toggle or, accept/decline option for phones with this capability. So the other devices can deny the one trying to leech power
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 7:15 AM 0
Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014
It clearly states that it wouldn't leech from devices running on battery. It is probably some idea of wireless charging with some PLUGGED source that phones could leech off. I imagine it implemented in tables in coffee shops and similar places. Placed on the center of the table or under it, and all phones placed on the table could charge off of it.
posted on Mar 16, 2017, 11:18 AM 0
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