Feeds

Apple preps adaptable gadget adapter

Behold the iSquishDock

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Apple has filed a patent application for a gadget dock that conforms to the shape and size of whatever you plop upon it.

The filing, self-confidently entitled "Aesthetically pleasing universal dock," describes a desktop charging and connectivity adapter that's constructed in such a way as to modify its grip to accommodate devices of different sizes and shapes.

The world-changing goal of this "aesthetically pleasing" invention is to eliminate the need for that pesky packet of multiple-sized adapter inserts that ships with iPhone and iPod speakers and similar accessories. You know the adapters we mean. They're the ones that you've either lost or have squirreled away in some junk drawer along with your spare USB cables.

In the brave new aesthetically pleasing world, you won't have to worry about those adapters ever again. Instead, your 'Phone or 'Pod's dock would be formed out of, as the filing states, "an array of vertical members, an elastic sponge-like substance, or any other suitable material" that will surround the connector pin and change shape when you nestle your device into it.

Illustration for Apple's 'Aesthetically pleasing universal dock' patent application

Presumably, any actual dock will be more aesthetically pleasing than this patent sketch

If the dock's conformability were to be provided by an array of spring-loaded vertical pins, the dockable surface could be kept aesthetically pleasing by being covered "by means of a Teflon sheet or by means of a webbing".

Illustration for Apple's 'Aesthetically pleasing universal dock' patent application

Place your iPhone or other device into the dock, and it will gently grasp its bottom

The shape-shifting of the dock's cradling surface could be accomplished merely by the pressure of the device being instered into it, or - more aesthetically pleasing, to be sure - by the dock sensing the identity and size of the device and signalling the support layer "to rise and expand around a portion of the bottom and the sides of the electronic device to provide support" for the aforementioned nestling. Alternatively, a series of front-mounted buttons could inform the dock which shape to assume.

Illustration for Apple's 'Aesthetically pleasing universal dock' patent application

Pins in the dock base (top) would remain depressed after a device was removed (bottom)

In addition, the dock could be configured so that it would retain the shape needed to accommodate the last device that it held, awaiting with anticipation that device's next insertion. And should that expectant depression be deemed to not be sufficiently aesthetically pleasing, a Reset button could be provided that, when pushed, would restore the dock to its pristine, un-depressed state. The same Reset button could also be used to eject the device from the dock.

Illustration for Apple's 'Aesthetically pleasing universal dock' patent application

The dock would be able to re-conform itself to multiple devices, such as an out-of-date iPod nano

The benefits - aesthetic and otherwise - of this dock wouldn't be limited to Apple handhelds. The filing, which was originally submitted in June 2008, specifically mentions "the iPAQ Pocket PC available by Hewlett Packard Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif," plus Blackberries and Sidekicks.

In addition to conformability, the filing also mentions that the dock could be paired up with a remote to control the device inserted into it, presumably to play what one might hope would be aesthetically pleasing tunes. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.