Apple has been researching ways to advance MagSafe to carry data wirelessly, plus how to recognize and authenticate accessories when they are plugged in.
Right now, you can place a MagSafe-compatible iPhone onto a MagSafe charger, and it will charge. You can add an MagSafe iPhone case and the phone will still charge through it.
However, Apple says that at present, there are “some drawbacks” to how MagSafe works. “Accessory Devices That Communicate With Electronic Devices,” is a newly-granted patent application that lays out the problem, and has solutions that mean making MagSafe smarter.
“For instance, some accessory devices inadvertently form a “heat trap” by virtue of their position on the electronic device,” says Apple. “Moreover, advances in processor technology provide faster processing speeds for electronic devices, but generate more heat during operation.”