Apple patents are strange and mysterious things. Like sums over futures, they give us a peek at thousands of strands of potentiality, but no clue about eventuality. In other words, Apple patents tons of stuff, most of which we never see in actual consumer products. Some of these, however, are pretty interesting looking. The Register says:

One of the applications describes a "host machine" - looking much like an iMac in the accompanying drawings - that has battery-charging slots built into its body.

A second describes how the host machine could communicate wirelessly with mobile devices to monitor their battery power, notify users when it was time for a charge, and talk with other host machines about the state of the batteries it's servicing.

A third describes a "intelligent universal rechargeable batteries" with pop-off end-caps that allow "battery chemicals" to be swapped out when they've reached the end of their productive lives.

The Black&Decker approach of one-battery-to-charge-them-all seems so un-Apple, but it would be convenient to a large segment of handy consumers. TiPb also recalls a previous patent that showed a MacBook docking into an iMac, so why not go from broke, Apple, and give us the iPhone to MacBook to iMac "Russian Doll" gadget? Check out the full article, linked above, for all the details, and let us know which, if any, tempt you.

(Thanks to Phil, news editor over at sibling site WMExperts for the tip!)