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  • New Patent Details Modular MagSafe Alternative to 30-Pin Connector

    *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.
    Even better, the magnets would "repulse, eject, and/or prevent coupling of certain cables” preventing users from connecting the cable to the wrong device or in the case of overheating the cable would automatically be ejected. No more burning down your house.

    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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New Patent Details Modular MagSafe Alternative to 30-Pin Connector started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. TOT_tomdora's Avatar
      TOT_tomdora -
      Interesting.
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      I think i remember reading about an article about this like 2 years ago. On this website, but pretty sure it was speculation. Unless these are two different things. Link: Apple Shows Possible Interest in MagSafe for iPad
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      This won't happen. Apple doesn't license their magsafe technology and the diverse plethora of third-party accessories that make use of the 30-pin connector is one of the many things that set Apple apart from the competition. For a new cable standard to succeed Apple would have to allow 3rd party manufacturers to reproduce this tech.
    1. recognition's Avatar
      recognition -
      Quote Originally Posted by politicalslug View Post
      This won't happen. Apple doesn't license their magsafe technology and the diverse plethora of third-party accessories that make use of the 30-pin connector is one of the many things that set Apple apart from the competition. For a new cable standard to succeed Apple would have to allow 3rd party manufacturers to reproduce this tech.
      But they must license the 30 pin connection... so why not license this mag safe 30 pin connection and still keep the mag safe power connection to themselves?
    1. RyoSaeba's Avatar
      RyoSaeba -
      Moving parts in a connector? No thanks. Just more stuff to go wrong and this moving magnet pins stuff will make the cable ultra expensive to replace (at lease if you want to buy original).

      I really don't see anything wrong with the current connector. It's not too big, not too small, quite sturdy, and has enough pins to do anything, and it's pretty much already universal (across all Apple portable products), no?