On Thursday, “the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a possible next generation lightning connector that will be able to expand once connected to an iDevice such as an iPhone to create a liquid-tight seal,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.
“Apple’s invention pertains to electrical connectors that have one or more gaskets or seals configured to impede moisture from penetrating the connector and/or electronic devices,” Purcher reports. “Various embodiments relate to a seal positioned on the connector plug and/or within an electronic device such that a liquid-tight seal is formed when the connector plug is mated with the electronic device.”
“In one example, a deformable peripheral seal is positioned between the receiving opening and the plurality of electrical contacts and the deformable peripheral seal has an aperture aligned with the receiving opening wherein the aperture is smaller than the receiving opening,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s patent FIG. 12A, an isometric view of plug connector #1215 is shown having first surface #1220 and second opposing surface #1225 that are tapered and formed from a deformable material configured to form a seal to a receptacle connector of an electronic device.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple files a lot of ideas that never see the light of day. We doubt they’d change the Lightning connector (if it weren’t backwards compatible with the current Lightning connector/port), but, as this is Apple, anything is possible when it comes to legacy ports, of course.
Frankly, we’d expect Apple to go fully wireless – no ports at all – before they messed around with the Lightning connector (read: wired headphone jack over which many garments have been rent) again.