A new Apple patent has been published (via 9to5Mac) which shows an innovative new fuel cell system Apple could be working on for the next generations of MacBook that will extend the battery life to “days or even weeks.”
The battery life on the current generation of MacBooks is good — up to 10 hours on some models — but the patent uses fuel cells, a device that converts the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, to allow battery life that is measured in days.
A British company recently squeezed a fuel cell into an iPhone creating a battery life that lasted an entire week on a single charge.
The patent references MagSafe, the connection Apple currently uses for its MacBook Air and Pro models which could, in the future, represent a problem as the company transitions toward USB Type-C, as it has done with the new MacBook.
The fuel cells would require replenishment when they are depleted, a process which could be complicated as it requires specialist hardware. As a solution, Apple has suggested removable fuel cells that can be recharged outside the laptop. This could lead to a hybrid battery/fuel cell MacBook which uses a standard battery and only switches to the fuel cell when that is exhausted.
Apple has already done an “all day” battery, and now it seems the company has set its sights on “all week” battery.
While this seems like a good idea, Apple patents thousands of ideas a year — 2,003 in 2014 — of which very few see the light of day. It’s unlikely the next MacBook you buy will have a week of battery life.