A patent filed by Apple describes the possibility of a AirPods case that is capable of wirelessly charging the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The patent was discovered by Patently Apple and was a the part of the 250 dumped applications from the US Patent Office.
The patent further explains the inclusion an inductive pad on the AirPods case which could be used to wirelessly charge other devices. Here is an excerpt from the patent application:
“Such devices can include, for example, portable music players (e.g., MP3 devices and Apple’s iPod devices), portable video players (e.g., portable DVD players), cellular telephones (e.g., smart telephones such as Apple’s iPhone devices), video cameras, digital still cameras, projection systems (e.g., holographic projection systems), gaming systems, PDAs, as well as tablet (e.g., Apple’s iPad devices), laptop (e.g. MacBooks) or other mobile computers. Some of these devices can be configured to provide audio, video or other data or sensory output.”
The probability of a waterproof case for the AirPods was also discussed in the report. This could possibly mean that the next-gen AirPods will be waterproof:
Another aspect of this next-gen AirPods case worth noting was found in patent FIGS. 28 and 29 which illustrate a liquid-tight electrical connector.
This, if introduced will provide more functionality to the case than just charging the AirPods. With the iPhone Edition and the Apple Watch Series 3 around the corner, the patent makes complete sense and it will be interesting to see how Apple manages to pack in so much power in such a compact case.