“On May 01, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new docking station concept that is designed to incorporate a more durable and self-retracting connector that can accommodate iDevices small and large,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.
“Manufacturers provide docking stations (docks) in which a user can dock a device. Often the docks will have a connector rising out from an opening, with the connector being in a position such that the device can be viewed and/or used when connected,” Purcher reports. “However, connectors can be weak points, especially when devices become large like the iPad and additional stresses are placed on the connector. The connector may also provide most of the support for the device. Accordingly, the connectors of such docking stations can be damaged by misuse, e.g. being pulled in an improper direction.”
Purcher reports, “Apple invents a docking station for an electronic device having a durable self-retracting connector. Some embodiments allow a plug connector to move while connected to a portable electronic device. This movement of the connector can absorb undesirable forces, thereby reducing the likelihood of the connector breaking from misuse.”
Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.