KEY POINTS

  • Apple's AirDrop allows users to transfer files between iDevices
  • Transferring large files using AirDrop, however, can prove problematic at times
  • A new patent shows how Apple plans to tackle that

Apple's AirDrop allows those who use iDevices like iPhones to transfer different kinds of files to another iDevice.

Transferring larger files between devices using AirDrop sometimes becomes problematic, however. There are some who have complained about not being able to transfer large files, failing to transfer large files between iDevices or that it takes a lot of time for devices to transfer them.

Thankfully, Apple is looking into a new technology that will hasten large file transfers between iDevices such as iPhones, and a new patent proves this.

According to the patent, titled “Systems And Methods For Adjusting Movable Lenses In Directional Free-Space Optical Communication Systems For Portable Electronic Devices,” Apple is looking into using an apparatus for free-space optical communication that will make transferring files faster.

Per the patent, conventional directional free-space optical communication systems, such as those used on older devices, require users to align devices properly so they will be able to communicate with each other, such as when transferring files.

This is especially true of older devices that used infrared-based communication systems to transfer files and data from one device to another. Such technologies work best on stationary equipment, but are not best used on mobile or portable systems, such as smartphones.

The patent describes the new system as having a photosensitive element that can be separated into at least two photosensitive areas. It also has a laser diode, and movable lens positioned above the laser diode, and a controller that can be used to adjust the movable lens.

The system will use lasers, emitted by the laser diode, to transfer data. The movable lens can be repositioned to direct the laser to the photosensitive areas of the receiving device. The receiving device will help the sending device position the laser correctly by communicating with it.

AirDrop lens The movable lens in normal and tilted positions, according to the patent. Photo: Apple/WIPO

Apple Insider noted that Apple's decision to use lasers will provide for greater security since data will be sent via a very narrow, directional field. Users can rest assured that the data they are sending will be received by the correct device.

The patent can be accessed via the World Intellectual Property Organization's IP Portal. Those who want to read it in detail can do so by clicking on this link.