Feeds

Apple patent foresees ultra-svelte iDevices

Skinnier than a 2.5mm phone plug

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Apple has filed a patent application for an audio port that accommodates a jack which is larger in diameter than the thickness of the device into which it's plugged.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the filing, entitled "Low Profile Plug Receptacle", is a resurrected version of an essentially identical application filed in September 2008 and published in March 2010.

The filing describes three general ways that such a socket could be incorporated into a device that's thinner than a standard 3.5mm headphone jack or 2.5mm headset jack:

  • The simplest of the three would merely have the socket be less than fully circular, with a slot allowing some of the jack to protrude above the device's surface.
  • A second "embodiment", in patentese, would cover that slot with a "semi-flexible material" that would extend and conform to the plug as it is inserted, securely hodling it in place.
  • A third, mechanical, method would employ a "hinged housing" – essentially two wee doors – that would swing open to allow room for the plug's protruding width.
Apple 'Low Profile Plug' patent application illustration

A simple slot (left), a stretchable covering (center) and hinged double doors (right)

All three methods are designed to allow Apple to continue to use industry-standard jacks, but to shrink its mobile devices to thicknesses – thinnesses, actually – well below even the most anorexic of today's offerings.

The iPod shuffle and iPod nano, for example, are both just under 9mm thick – but that measurement includes their clamp-it-on-your-shirt clips. Not including the clip, both are a bit over 5mm thick. The clipless iPod touch, by contrast, is 7.2mm thick, and the iPod classic – yes, it still exists – is a veritable Konishiki at 10.5mm.

Those thicknesses – and the iPad 2's slim 8.8mm – allow for plenty of room to accomodate a 3.5mm or 2.5mm audio jack, even considering the other items with which they need to share the cozy confines of an iDevice' innards.

But that may not – will not? – always be the case as Apple's offerings continue to get more svelte. The original iPod, for example, was 19.9mm thick – nearly 3mm heftier than the fat back end of the current MacBook Air. If thin is in, thinner is increasingly inner.

Apple apparently forsees a day when an audio jack may be a limiting factor in the ongoing Jenny Craig-ing of their kit. And when that day arrives, it plans to have its patent ducks in a row. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.