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Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.30.04 AMPeople who are tired of charging their iPads by plugging them in may have a solution soon, if a new patent filing by Apple is any indication.

The filing for “Integrated Inductive Charging in Protective Cover” describes a protective cover for a tablet that would know when it was closed and enable the device to charge wirelessly using an inductive charging mat. It would be an easier way to ensure that people top up their

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.59.53 AMApple is already using inductive charging for the Apple Watch, which will be charged using a magnetized inductive charger that connects to the back of the watch and provides power wirelessly. If they apply similar technology to the iPad and iPhone, it could allow users to charge those devices just by setting them down on a nightstand at night rather than requiring people to use a cable.

Since Apple is always looking for ways to downsize its products, it would’t be a huge surprise if the company actually goes ahead with releasing inductive charging accessories, especially if it means they can make the iPhone and iPad even thinner than they already are.

As always, it’s worth noting that Apple files a lot of patents, and many of them don’t materialize into shipping products, so it’s possible this patent is just a pipe dream.

Editor’s Note: We were alerted to this patent application by Sqoop, a Seattle-area startup run by Microsoft and RealNetworks veteran Bill Hankes. Sqoop is developing a public-records search and notification service for journalists, and GeekWire is testing an early version of the Sqoop service.

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