Apple Patents Ways To Make An iPod Thinner Than A Headphone Jack

Apple Patents Ways To Make An iPod Thinner Than A Headphone Jack

Apple’s obsession with thinness is well-known, but its latest patents might be one of the company’s most interesting pursuits of that obsession yet: they describe Apple’s attempts to make an iPod thinner than the headphone jack you have to plug into it.

The patents describe various ways to make this idea work. For example, one patent describes an audio socket that’s less than fully circular, allowing a portion of the jack to actually protrude from the socket. Another mention a flexible material covering the opening of a semi-circular socket that would expand when a jack was inserted. The last method uses a hinged housing, or two doors that swing open, when a jack is inserted.

This isn’t the first patent we’ve seen from Apple for smaller audio jacks. In September of last year, we reported on an apple patent that used deflectable pogo pins instead of cantilever beams inside of a headphone socket, making it even smaller. At the time, we lamented that Apple’s efforts in miniaturizing the headphone socket were necessarily limited by the size of the headphone jack itself… but it looks like Apple’s figured out a way around even that.

  • Don The Toad

    why bother? go wireless only. Bluetooth is our friend.

  • kcdk99

    Agreed. I use a bluetooth wireless headset, use Apple AirPlay or Airfoil for my home music and just recently purchased a bluetooth Belkin AirCast Auto for my car. I’m so happy to be free of the wires. Now all I need is extended-range wireless charging.

  • Lili Lin
  • B066Y

    and what do you do when the Bluetooth headset losses power? In my experience those things only last a few hours with constant use and after a few charges less then that. Of course, maybe the ones I’ve bought just aren’t expensive enough (I’m not willing to pay more then around $100, and then the specs better be amazing).

  • Mooreacre

    Agreed, who needs a mouse anymore or headphone jack! Bluetooth is the now and future.

  • shogun768

    Bluetooth is neat – but it also adds another level of power requirements and another layer of complexity, creating more opportunity for things to fail/break/go wrong.

  • Fil

    RT @bilsimpson: This useful blog provides the latest patent applications from Apple Inc.
    http://new-apple-patent-applic

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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