A while back we reported of TwelveSouth’s PlugBug charger, which was a charger that allowed users to charge both their MacBook and iOS device simultaneously, but now it appears that Apple has something similar in mind with a recent filing of a patent application that they’ve called “Multi-Output Power Supply”.
The patent basically states that since most commercially available adapters do not include multiple outputs for supplying different DC voltage levels, this would mean that users will need to bring with them several adapters at once. This would be extremely inconvenient for travelers who may forget to bring one of the adapters with them, not to mention that some of these adapters could be bulky, thus adding unnecessary bulk for the traveler.
The answer to this problem would be a universal power supply that has the ability to connect to multiple devices, leaving the user with the need to bring just one charger with them wherever they go. The patent reveals that the power adapter could be intelligent enough to control the power supply, ensuring that the correct voltage is sent out to the appropriate devices.
In a way it does sound similar to TwelveSouth’s PlugBug, and it definitely sounds like it could be grounds for some sort of patent infringement lawsuit. However, ignoring the potential legal ramifications, a universal power adapter that can charge multiple Apple products simultaneously is a pretty good idea that we’d like to see happen in an official capacity.