How Future iPod Nanos Could Sync-And-Charge Through Their Clip

How Future iPod Nanos Could Sync-And-Charge Through Their Clip

This is interesting: Apple has just applied for a patent showing a way that they could allow the iPod nano to sync and charge through pins positioned in the clip. What’s most interesting about this is that it implies that the iPod nano could ditch the 30-Pin Dock Connector, just like the Shuffle.

The patent is titled “Portable User Device with a Clip Having Electrical Thermals,” the patent shows a smaller multitouch iPod with four pins positioned in the clip to allow for syncing and charging.

Why four pins instead of 19 or 30? If you read our feature on the history and future of the Apple dock connector the other day, you’ll know that those four pins equate to the four necessary pins of a USB connection: data in, data out, power and ground.

What Apple’s talking about here, then, is giving the iPod nano a special kind of dock connector that would be more similar to the iPod shuffle’s TRSS jack USB connection method than the way other iPods charge.

In a later illustration in the same patent application, Apple shows ways it could apply its concept beyond the iPod nano: for example, by allowing you to “clip” your nano to the side of your MacBook display through a special USB port. Interesting!

Rumors from a couple of days ago pegged the iPod nano as getting a major redesign this year to look more like a thinner, smaller iPod touch. This patent, on the other hand, suggests that Apple might be going the opposite direction, and looking to make the touchscreen nano even more Shuffle-like than it currently is.

  • Skywaytraffic

    Acutally, what’s most interesting about this to me, is that is squashes that idiotic nano rumor you guys ran the other day about it becoming elongated with a home button.

  • hanhothi

    If you took the trouble to actually look Brownlee, you would see there are eight (8) pins on the diagram. Sloppy work.

  • lowtolerance

    That’s really clever, and possibly less prone to mechanical problems than the existing dock connect.

  • bd7349

    If you took the trouble to actually look Brownlee, you would see there are eight (8) pins on the diagram. Sloppy work.

    Where do you see 8 pins? There are 4 pins on the actual device, and there are 4 pins on the docking device used to connect to the pins on the actual device itself. Learn to count, bud. No need to be rude about it. Everyone makes mistakes, and in this case, he didn’t make one, you did.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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