*Image courtesy of Apple Insider*
Apple introduced the MagSafe adapter in 2006 alongside their updated Macbooks. The transition of the MagSafe technology to the iPod at the time seemed natural. But, six years later the 30-pin connector still reigns supreme.
However, a new Apple patent hints that the 30-pin connector may finally be supplanted. The patent titled “Programmable Magnetic Connectors” details a series of coded magnets that could be used in portable devices and the subsequent data and power cables as means of transferring power and data..
The most interesting part of the patent details the ability for the programmable magnets to create a truly universal cable. Depending on the information shared between the device and the connector the coded magnets found in both would supply the right number of pins housed inside the connection head of the cable.
"The magnets (would) create a universal port that detects the coded magnet 'signature' of a particular cable type and reconfigures itself accordingly," — Apple Patent.
Also, the patent details a new headphone concept that uses magnets to control a modular headphone plug. Based on the information share between the coded magnets the headphone connection could extend or retract depending on if the device needed to transmit microphone data. This would allow designers to take advantage of smaller form factors in iPod nanos where the microphone data is unnecessary.
Everything else about Apple’s iDevice’s has changed in the last six years except the 30-pin connector. This patent shows the ideas are there, now it’s time to implement them.
Source: Apple Insider