What Finally Killed AirPower


Craig Lloyd:

We asked an engineer with experience building wireless charging systems what obstacles Apple was working to overcome. “Over time, these harmonics add up and they become really powerful signals in the air,” explains William Lumpkins, VP of Engineering at O & S Services. “And that can be difficult—that can stop someone’s pacemaker if it’s too high of a level. Or it could short circuit someone’s hearing aid.” If Apple’s multi-coil layout was spinning off harmonics left and right, it’s possible AirPower couldn’t pass muster with US or EU regulations.
Part of what’s astonishing about the AirPower cancellation is how last-minute it was, right on the heels of the AirPods 2 release. But Lumpkins says that happens sometimes. He speculated that Apple had AirPower working in their labs: ”Well, so what always happens is you get it functional first. No one looks at [Electro-Magnetic Interference] until the end.” The FCC rules for wireless charging devices like AirPower are quite strict, and limit exposure at 20 cm (8 in) above the device to 50 mW/cm^2.

This would seem to at least somewhat square the circle for Apple seemingly moving forward with production, but then suddenly -- very suddenly; it's still all over the AirPod packaging materials -- killing the product. If the FCC wasn't going to approve it...

Also, as bad as the Galaxy Note debacle was, could you imagine if Apple released a product that stopped someone's pace maker?


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