On April 19, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two of Apple's inventions relating to next generation connectors designed with slimmer devices in mind. The new connectors that are designed to be smarter, stronger and safer will apply to all of Apple's future hardware.
Apple's Other Patent Applications Published Today by the US Patent and Trademark Office
Shallow Depth Connector Having Contact Protection
Apple states that as devices and mobile devices in particular become smaller and slimmer they're also being designed with more functionality. Apple sees this trend continuing well into the future; one that will continue to pack even more features into increasingly smaller devices.
Today's invention revelation could apply to future Apple hardware including MacBook Pros, the Cinema display, iPods, iPads, iMacs and the iPhone.
In general, Apple's invention relates to circuits, methods, and apparatus that provide connector receptacles having a smaller size. One example provides this smaller size by decreasing the depth of the connector receptacle. Contacts in the connector receptacle may be protected from damage due to improper insertion of a second electronic device or connection to a second electronic device. This protection may be achieved in various ways.
In some examples, one or more components or one or more contacts may be used to block the improper insertion of a second electronic device or connection to a second electronic device. In other examples, one or more contacts may avoid damage by being located outside of an insertion path until a second electronic device or connection to a second electronic device is inserted. In other examples, instead of blocking or avoiding an improper insertion, the contacts may avoid damage by bending out of the way.
For more details, see patent application 20120094513
Connector Having Self-Wiping Contacts & Other Features
Apple has filed for a secondary patent relating to connectors. In this patent application we see that Apple focuses on a number of connector improvements that they hope to bring to market.
Apple states that they want to improve connectivity reliability and reliably form a connection for electromagnetic interference protection during device assembly. Another improvement may provide a connector with an ability to resist damage from debris or other particulate matter that may enter the connector. Another improvement could be to provide a connector with a back that is reinforced to prevent damage caused by the insertion of a card with excessive force. Another improvement may be to include a raised portion arranged in a connector to fit in an opening in a printed circuit board.
For more details, see patent application 20120094517.
Other Patents Published today that you Might want to Explore
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Patent 20120096356 - Visual Presentation Composition (iMovie Related).
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Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. Apple's patent applications have provided the Mac community with a clear heads-up on some of Apple's greatest product trends including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iOS cameras, LED displays, iCloud services for iTunes and more. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Here are a Few Sites covering our Original Report: MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, MarketWatch, MacDailyNews, Consomac France, iPhoneAddict France, and more.