Apple Inc. has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for a possible next-generation docking station that may have power management for accessories.
The PatentlyApple site said the dock will be able to manage power more intelligently so it could power up larger and more powerful devices safely.
"One of the illustrative embodiments of the present invention provides commands that may allow a portable computing device to charge at a maximum available current level while providing an accessory with sufficient current for its proper operation," it said
It said the patent also lets the dock help prevent a portable computing device from drawing a too much power that could harm an accessory such as a cable.
Another aspect of the invention may allow a battery pack or other accessory to instruct a portable computing device to not charge its internal battery.
The invention may also allow a portable computing device to determine which power supply among multiple power supplies should be used to power an accessory.
It also allows an accessory to get charging current parameters from a portable computing device.
On the other hand, PatentlyApple also noted the patent mysteriously states that the new dock will be able to power up a monitor.
"That could mean anything ranging from a portable presentation system to that of a TV. Time will tell what Apple has up their sleeve on that particular point; though I must confess that it sounds most inviting," it said.
Apple noted docking stations usually provide support for portable computing devices, holding them in place in a roughly upright manner so that the screen can be viewed easily, or allowing them to use various accessories.
Its granted patent covers its invention of a next-generation docking station that includes advanced methods, apparatus, and circuits for managing power among portable computing devices and one or more accessories.
Meanwhile, PatentlyApple said Apple was also granted another patent for their current styled docking stations.
"While their original filing dates go all the way back to 2005, with a series of continuation patents along the way, their last filing was made in January 2010," it said. — TJD, GMA News