Feeds

Apple preps adaptable gadget adapter

Behold the iSquishDock

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.