The U.S. Patent and Hallmark Workplace today released an Apple patent application (through AppleInsider) covering an idea for versatile earphone ports to stay clear of plug breakage and accidental equipment damage– an usual grievance of many users. The patent application, which was first submitted back in June 2011 and notes Albert Golko, an iPhone and iPad product development engineering supervisor at Apple, as its inventor, describes a system where:

… a part or all of the plug port might comprise a flexible product that permits the port to bend with respect to an insertion axis and prevent the port from breaking when placed or removed poorly.

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The patent describes an audio connector (i.e. a standard 3.5 mm headset jack) that’s produced from a versatile product that enables it to flex slightly throughout use. The audio ports presently in use on most devices are inflexible and offer no stress relief, implying that any unexpected force to the earphone jack risks damaging the port, which typically requires an expensive repair work.

A additional addition to the patent is a certain level of versatility along the port’s length, which allows for even more strain in areas that are vulnerable to damage, such as the pointer or base of the plug. Numerous smartphone individuals are accustomed to covering headsets around the gadget, which triggers a huge quantity of pressure to the base of the plug. It’s envisioned that Apple’s patent will help eliminate this somewhat by offering more relief to both the headset jack and the port.

Although the objectives of the patent application are since yet unclear, Apple has in the past expressed interest in enhancing and reducing earphone plugs and jacks. A patent application released in 2010 detailed a headset jack design utilizing pogo pins instead of cantilevered metal strips for electrical contacts within the jack, a design which might permit thinner earphone jacks. Existing audio connectors, both in the conventional 3.5 mm and smaller 2.5 mm sizes, continue to be limiting consider making smartphones and various other devices smaller and thinner, but Apple’s work towards thinner jacks and more versatile plugs can assist the business attain smaller and thinner gadget designs in the future.