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MacRumors
Jul 12, 2012, 03:28 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/12/apple-patent-application-reveals-integrated-charging-contacts-in-ipod-nano-clip/)


A newly-published Apple patent application (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220120176087%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20120176087&RS=DN/20120176087) (via AppleInsider (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/07/12/apple_exploring_ipod_nano_clip_that_doubles_as_docking_contact.html)) reveals Apple's interest in exploring the use of the iPod nano's clip as a charging and docking mechanism, a move that would eliminate the need for a dedicated docking port on the bottom edge of the device as found in the current design.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/07/ipod_nano_clip_charger-e1342124199741.jpg


By incorporating electrical contacts into the clip and using a dock adapter to provide compatibility with Apple's current docking stations, the clamping action of the iPod nano's clip could hold the device in position for charging purposes.In some embodiments, a portable user device may include a rechargeable battery, and a clip member that is electrically coupled to the rechargeable battery. The rechargeable battery may be charged by electrically coupling the clip member to a receiving receptacle. In some embodiments, the clip member may provide a clamping force which aids in maintaining contact between the receiving receptacle and the clip member.Apple's patent application also describes a number of other implementations for the clip-based charging mechanism, including the ability to clip directly onto a charging point on the bezel of another device.

The newly-published patent, originally filed in January 2011, is not the first time Apple has proposed a means to increase the utility of the iPod nano's clip. A May 2010 application proposed integrating a piezoelectric speaker (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/10/apple-researching-integrated-speaker-for-ipod-nano-and-shuffle/) into the clip, while a prototype device (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/01/apples-1-3-mp-camera-equipped-ipod-nano-due-for-launch-in-marchapril/) has hinted at plans to equip the device with a rear camera that would project through a hole in the clip.

A new rumor (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/10/revamped-ipod-nano-to-include-oblong-body-with-home-button/) surfacing earlier this week claims, however, that Apple will be abandoning the current iPod nano design later this year in favor of an oblong design with a larger screen and a home button similar to that found on iOS devices.

Apple is also rumored to be bringing a smaller dock connector to its iOS devices later this year, a feature that could make its way to the iPod nano as well given that the device currently uses the same dock connector design seen in iOS devices.

Article Link: Apple Patent Application Reveals Integrated Charging Contacts in iPod Nano Clip (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/12/apple-patent-application-reveals-integrated-charging-contacts-in-ipod-nano-clip/)



jav6454
Jul 12, 2012, 03:29 PM
Interesting concept. However, Apple nice charging methods are always tampered by case manufacturers.

FakeWozniak
Jul 12, 2012, 03:34 PM
Add a camera and the speaker, and I'd buy one!
I liked the prior patent application for hiding a speaker behind the clip, too.

Piggie
Jul 12, 2012, 03:34 PM
Neat idea, clip on for charging.

But come on, can't we get wireless charging please?
I know it takes a bit longer/slower, but even as an option?

AustinIllini
Jul 12, 2012, 03:37 PM
Interesting concept. However, Apple nice charging methods are always tampered by case manufacturers.

I wish they would just drop the clip. I liked the iPod touch-like design shown in an earlier thread.

Hexiii
Jul 12, 2012, 03:40 PM
I wish they would just drop the clip. I liked the iPod touch-like design shown in an earlier thread.

I think the clip is okay, since if they kept the same size without the clip, you would lost it easily :)

charlieegan3
Jul 12, 2012, 03:42 PM
Can't they just sync/charge through the headphone jack like the shuffle? I always liked that solultion.

Hexiii
Jul 12, 2012, 03:56 PM
Can't they just sync/charge through the headphone jack like the shuffle? I always liked that solultion.

It takes quite a long time which is not problem of the Shuffle, because it lasts about 3 weeks on one charge. :)

Puevlo
Jul 12, 2012, 03:56 PM
Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

lifeinhd
Jul 12, 2012, 03:58 PM
Wow, this is actually really, really cool.

Then accessories mfrs can design clothing with built-in contacts and solar panels. Clip your iPod to your shirt and charge while you jog! :D

koruki
Jul 12, 2012, 04:00 PM
Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

It's DC, its like saying having an open AA battery laying around is dangerous :rolleyes:

ChristianJapan
Jul 12, 2012, 04:03 PM
fancy it is. but I like the current monolithic approach with "one cable fits all". it's just simpler and more convenient.

lifeinhd
Jul 12, 2012, 04:04 PM
Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

Can we please, please have the "downvote" button back? Even if just to stop the spread of misinformation like this?

This is no different than the Magsafe charger. Try plugging it in and pressing the notebook end to your palm and see if anything happens. Answer: nothing does.

kasei
Jul 12, 2012, 04:07 PM
Interesting concept. I am curious to see if this concept or something similar makes its way to the iPhone.

charlieegan3
Jul 12, 2012, 04:08 PM
It takes quite a long time which is not problem of the Shuffle, because it lasts about 3 weeks on one charge. :)

If they are going to all the trouble of making this new dock work (which they may not be) then couldn't they work on making it faster instead?

Marcus-k
Jul 12, 2012, 04:08 PM
Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

You could lick the charger and still be safe. (Although you shouldn't try that ofcourse)
Stop spreading misinformation.

617arg
Jul 12, 2012, 04:10 PM
Cool idea, but I too prefer the one cable fits all solution. It's just much more convenient.

Hexiii
Jul 12, 2012, 04:15 PM
If they are going to all the trouble of making this new dock work (which they may not be) then couldn't they work on making it faster instead?

Yeah, sure it will be 100% better. Why do we need a big dock when you are ok with few inch long cable. It doesn't even fit the Nano box and would cost 5 times as much.

charlieegan3
Jul 12, 2012, 04:21 PM
Yeah, sure it will be 100% better. Why do we need a big dock when you are ok with few inch long cable. It doesn't even fit the Nano box and would cost 5 times as much.

I hope they improve the speed and go with that method for all iPods/iPads in future. Makes the devices much cleaner to look at.

I guess they just wanted to call dibs on this idea so no one else does it.

skellener
Jul 12, 2012, 04:27 PM
Just use your MagSafe technology Apple!! No more pins!!!

SeaFox
Jul 12, 2012, 04:29 PM
This is quite an interesting idea, but I would be concerned about the contacts becoming dirty/damaged from their placement on surfaces used for clipping to materials.

Rocketman
Jul 12, 2012, 04:29 PM
A Nano running iOS with a home button. Hmmm, the iPhone Nano rumor realized.

Also how many synching form factors are ther now?

30 pin connector
New approx 12 pin connector (expected)
Original 30 pin with firewire
Nano/Shuffle through 1/8" phone jack
Clip (proposed)
Others?

Hexiii
Jul 12, 2012, 04:36 PM
I hope they improve the speed and go with that method for all iPods/iPads in future. Makes the devices much cleaner to look at.

I guess they just wanted to call dibs on this idea so no one else does it.

I doubt they would go with that method on iPad/iPhone/iTouch. Even if they had made it faster, they could have made the current one faster than that one. Because the iPad already takes 5 hours to charge and charging speed is kind of important factor.

Therefore I can only imagine seeing it on Nanos/Shuffles.

euphemus
Jul 12, 2012, 04:41 PM
And this is exactly what is wrong with frivolous patent applications. Why is Apple able to register a patent for a clip-based charger when clip-based charging is already available in many devices? Anyone with a FitBit ultra or Suunto Ambit will use clip-based charging already. Apple may have some vaguely original claim to the manner of their particular implementation but really, is an evolution of an existing idea really worth a patent?

This sort of thing stifles innovation instead of protecting it.

JHankwitz
Jul 12, 2012, 04:45 PM
Neat idea, clip on for charging.

But come on, can't we get wireless charging please?
I know it takes a bit longer/slower, but even as an option?

Not only slower, but it takes up a lot more space inside. There's no room to spare when you're trying to remain small.

----------

Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

Why is this dangerous? You don't have to worry about voltage until it nears 40V. This is no more dangerous than picking up a AAA battery with your bare hands.

s2h2golf
Jul 12, 2012, 04:51 PM
Can't they just sync/charge through the headphone jack like the shuffle? I always liked that solultion.

If it is a dedicated device (phone system, in-car, etc.), you can't send audio out and keep it charged at the same time.

JHankwitz
Jul 12, 2012, 04:56 PM
... is an evolution of an existing idea really worth a patent?

This sort of thing stifles innovation instead of protecting it.

Yes, this is how the patent system has always worked because it drives innovation and improvement in the industry.

Fresh Pie
Jul 12, 2012, 04:59 PM
Why is this dangerous? You don't have to worry about voltage until it nears 40V. This is no more dangerous than picking up a AAA battery with your bare hands.

You actually do that?! :eek: Good lord!

ipedro
Jul 12, 2012, 05:03 PM
Sony Smartwatch

http://asset3.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/04/12/sony_smartwatch_clip_610x458.jpg

FakeWozniak
Jul 12, 2012, 05:34 PM
Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

Standard USB is 5V at about 200mA. This 1W wouldn't be too dangerous.

Can we please, please have the "downvote" button back? Even if just to stop the spread of misinformation like this?

This is no different than the Magsafe charger. Try plugging it in and pressing the notebook end to your palm and see if anything happens. Answer: nothing does.

The magsafe charger, when not driving a load, is safe, but when the connection is properly established with the computer, it can drive upwards of 45-60W. That could start a fire.

If we had the down vote back, I would down vote you both. Puevlo's misinformation errors on being overly cautious. Your misinformation errors on getting someone hurt.

IMO, I like only up voting. With both up and down, I think it turns into a popularity contest. On a typical bi-polar topic, something very interesting could be relegated to obscurity if nearly equal numbers of people vote opposite of one another. With only up, it turns into a positive indicator; like being vouched for. It still supports minority views, but weeds out the whack jobs.

tigress666
Jul 12, 2012, 05:48 PM
Can we please, please have the "downvote" button back? Even if just to stop the spread of misinformation like this?

This is no different than the Magsafe charger. Try plugging it in and pressing the notebook end to your palm and see if anything happens. Answer: nothing does.

Yeah I really really miss the downvote button :(.

stiligFox
Jul 12, 2012, 05:53 PM
Neat idea, clip on for charging.

But come on, can't we get wireless charging please?
I know it takes a bit longer/slower, but even as an option?

That would drain sooooo much battery, especially in such a small device!

Mal
Jul 12, 2012, 05:56 PM
That would drain sooooo much battery, especially in such a small device!

Wait… wireless charging would drain the battery, instead of…you know…charging it?

jW

ConnYoungy
Jul 12, 2012, 06:00 PM
The camera-clip would make a nice sly-photo camera if you wore it backwards and could use the headphones to shoot like the iPhone

Jbloodwo
Jul 12, 2012, 06:11 PM
lets join the 21st century. how about inductive charging and sync with 802.11ac :D

zeromeus
Jul 12, 2012, 06:56 PM
It's a charging connect hidden by the clip. It's the same as current wireless phones that you use at home... just insert it into the dock. The one Apple proposed has connectors on the clip itself.


Sony Smartwatch

Image (http://asset3.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/04/12/sony_smartwatch_clip_610x458.jpg)

dra
Jul 12, 2012, 07:35 PM
take my money now

onigami
Jul 12, 2012, 08:14 PM
Anyone else find this non-patent worthy? It's not even a new mechanism for charging, just merely a new placement.

TimAlia
Jul 12, 2012, 08:20 PM
You know what this means... Apple will continue to push consumers to use the Nano as a wristwatch. And maybe they'll add bluetooth connectivity with the iPhone/iPad for notifications. Everybody will want a dock charger for their wristwatch every night before bed. I'm telling you... they wouldn't make this dock if they weren't planning to increase the rapidly Nano sales.

troop231
Jul 12, 2012, 09:30 PM
Neat idea, clip on for charging.

But come on, can't we get wireless charging please?
I know it takes a bit longer/slower, but even as an option?

Wireless charging can charge just as fast as the USB cable depending on the induced voltage on the coil.

Cramming large coils in a mobile device is what is hard to do.

Laird Knox
Jul 12, 2012, 09:35 PM
Highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid this.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E0_EBoUcRws/T8RgCR_xgoI/AAAAAAAABug/myq2a0z-Tx4/s1600/12_Life_Lausanne_Louvre_Baby_Hand_4.jpg

justperry
Jul 12, 2012, 10:25 PM
Why is this dangerous? You don't have to worry about voltage until it nears 40V. This is no more dangerous than picking up a AAA battery with your bare hands.


Anything ≤48 Volts to be exact is considered to be safe.

But, that's not the whole story, example :

24 Volts and 100 Amps, if you are near to that supply and it short circuits and happen to be without any safety gear you could for instance become blind or get badly burnt.

Another example :

Battery in your laptop short circuits and "explodes", you are in a confined space and inhale the fumes.

So, it is not always safe, depends on circumstances but to touch anything ≤48 Volts is considered to be safe.

--------------

I hope for the nano to change back to it's sleek former form, the one we saw a couple of days ago, or EOL the shuffle and rebrand this to be the new shuffle.

space1nvaders
Jul 12, 2012, 10:26 PM
You currently cannot charge and play at the same time. Maybe this way you could keep an iPod playing music all the time. For only $50 and some speakers you have background music for a business, room in your house, by the pool, etc.

Ivo-tje
Jul 12, 2012, 10:36 PM
Just like the fitbit device charges and syncs. :)

Lindono
Jul 13, 2012, 12:52 AM
Wireless charging can charge just as fast as the USB cable depending on the induced voltage on the coil.

Cramming large coils in a mobile device is what is hard to do.

That's induction charging.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiTricity
That tech seems to have more of a future. It already has some range, so you can charge with no physical contact. I believe this tech, once it evolves, will be where things head. There was a macrumors article on this awhile back.

stiligFox
Jul 13, 2012, 01:46 AM
Wait… wireless charging would drain the battery, instead of…you know…charging it?

jW

Oh wait, DARNIT.

I had a brain malfunction... I thought he meant wireless syncing.

Carry on, nothing to see here...

MuppetGate
Jul 13, 2012, 02:07 AM
Mmm. Looks a little bit awkward to me.

scottie2345
Jul 13, 2012, 04:10 AM
As already pointed out, I have a sony smartwatch and this is the same!!!!! when it was released folks complained about it not being a std connector, but it does make it waterproof or at least splashproof, i think that is the point.
I suppose some here would enjoy another lawsuit against sony for copying.

Bezetos
Jul 13, 2012, 04:19 AM
Wow, a genuine patent that solves a genuine technical problem.

Apple, I'm impressed.

subsonix
Jul 13, 2012, 04:59 AM
Can we please, please have the "downvote" button back? Even if just to stop the spread of misinformation like this?

This is no different than the Magsafe charger. Try plugging it in and pressing the notebook end to your palm and see if anything happens. Answer: nothing does.

A down vote would have been much less informative than the response you just gave. In your response you explained that it is misinformation and why.

alexgowers
Jul 13, 2012, 05:30 AM
that's something microsoft would do, not apple.

This is just a way of adding more bits that don't need to be there! Pointless patent.

I can see apple playing about with the smaller nano as a concept even more.

I would predict the nano might get a new clip, maybe a new aspect ratio but as usual is more of an experiment than it's best seller now.

I'm more looking forward to retina displays across the range next year and better designs from the iphone and desktop computers.

The ipad is nigh on perfect, the retina macbook is a thing right out of the future but needs a cycle or so before it's perfect. The nano is almost an after thought at this point as it's more of an apple starter product for kids, i don't know what they could do to make it better at this point.

Kludge420
Jul 13, 2012, 05:51 AM
Oh look, something else that shouldn't be patented is being patented.

Piggie
Jul 13, 2012, 07:19 AM
I'm just glad Apple was not around when the Wheel was being invented.

Then all the legal issues with everyone else who was tempted to use Apple's patented "Round" design of wheel.

lifeinhd
Jul 13, 2012, 08:50 AM
IMO, I like only up voting.

My qualm with upvote-only is in today's world, we've decided that telling someone they're wrong is politically incorrect. Sometimes people need to understand they've made a mistake, or at least the rest of us disagree with their opinion. The downvote button was a quick and easy way of doing this.

I highly recommend this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6wOt2iXdc4) to understand where I'm coming from.

With both up and down, I think it turns into a popularity contest.

I'm not sure how retaining the upvote changes this? Only difference is the disparity between highest comment/lowest comment is lower.

On a typical bi-polar topic, something very interesting could be relegated to obscurity if nearly equal numbers of people vote opposite of one another.

Unlike some forums, this forum never moved high-ranked comments to the top/low comments to the bottom, so this was never an issue.

Sackvillenb
Jul 13, 2012, 11:44 AM
This is an interesting idea, but I doubt they would implement this. Just seems too... clunky... and inelegant. I can see the advantages though, like saving internal space. I'd be a little worried about the contacts getting dirty though...?

mrxak
Jul 13, 2012, 12:43 PM
Seems like a clever way to go about it. I worry about the long-term strain on the spring though. If you leave your iPod Nano charging for long enough, presumably you might not be able to use the clip to grasp your shirt sleeve as well, in the long run.


About the downvote thing, I can't imagine it being a good idea to have upvotes without downvotes. Now all the trolls will upvote each other, and all the fanatics will upvote each other, and all the lazy people will continue doing nothing. So the highest rated comments will look like "Apple is good" or "Apple is bad". All the informative/interesting posts will fall somewhere in the middle, and the boring/useless posts will end up at 0. Just get rid of the upvotes if you're going to get rid of the downvotes. Better yet, scrap the whole system and let us upvote/downvote just the MacRumors stories. That way it's a feedback system on how well you're doing.

blackhand1001
Jul 13, 2012, 12:50 PM
Wow, a genuine patent that solves a genuine technical problem.

Apple, I'm impressed.

There's still prior art to apple. They are still patenting things that already exist.

npro1464
Jul 13, 2012, 08:21 PM
Somehow Apple will manage to ban the Nexus 7 using this patent.

mbh
Jul 13, 2012, 10:44 PM
Why is this dangerous? You don't have to worry about voltage until it nears 40V. This is no more dangerous than picking up a AAA battery with your bare hands.

Would you carry a 9V battery in the same pants pocket as your car keys? Do devices like this have safeguards against rapid discharge by shorting exposed charging contacts?

ade2bee
Jul 14, 2012, 12:00 AM
Can we please, please have the "downvote" button back? Even if just to stop the spread of misinformation like this?

This is no different than the Magsafe charger. Try plugging it in and pressing the notebook end to your palm and see if anything happens. Answer: nothing does.

But your not carrying/using/clipping the magsafe in the rain or on damp/wet clothing... try swilling the magsafe around in your mouth for a bit

hstewart
Jul 14, 2012, 12:31 PM
Interesting concept. I am curious to see if this concept or something similar makes its way to the iPhone.

I would like to MagSafe like charging for iPhone that is still compatible with Apple's port. That is what I like best of this concept - that it can be magnetic and also compatible with existing iOS device ports.

I see one day completely wireless connections and charging, even with connected to be compatible with existing Apple Port devices.

lifeinhd
Jul 14, 2012, 06:45 PM
But your not carrying/using/clipping the magsafe in the rain or on damp/wet clothing... try swilling the magsafe around in your mouth for a bit

It's a low amount of DC voltage with a low amount of current. An iPod Nano would a) not be outputting current from its contacts, so only the charger itself would be an issue and b) require so little voltage and current that shock would be a non-issue.

twoodcc
Jul 15, 2012, 03:10 PM
but you'd still need some sort of dock. i'd prefer to just have the same connector cable, since i already have plenty laying around

Zaqfalcon
Jul 16, 2012, 12:55 AM
I'd just like to see Apple put a bluetooth receiver chip in a nano so it can be used to connect to iphone or ipad as wireless headphones.

sransari
Jul 16, 2012, 01:49 PM
Oh look, something else that shouldn't be patented is being patented.

Firstly, it's just a patent application and not a patent grant. Secondly, why do you say it shouldn't be patented? Is it because you think it's a bad idea or that it's already out there, or what? If it's a bad idea, that's subjective and not a grounds to reject a patent application. After all, there is a patent on a self butt-kicking machine. If there is prior art, then theoretically, this application will not turn into a patent unless there's some true novelty claimed over the prior art. And if the patent is granted and prior art is later discovered, then that's what we've got re-exam proceedings and court hearings for.

----------

There's still prior art to apple. They are still patenting things that already exist.

Sometimes it might seem like that's true but in reality, there is something that is different than the prior. Even a slight modification can be patentable if the patent applicant can convince the all-mighty patent examiner that the modification is non-obvious.

JHankwitz
Jul 18, 2012, 03:59 PM
Would you carry a 9V battery in the same pants pocket as your car keys? Do devices like this have safeguards against rapid discharge by shorting exposed charging contacts?

They do if they expect to get UL listed or meet the most basic government requlations.

Kludge420
Jul 24, 2012, 05:30 PM
...why do you say it shouldn't be patented?

Patents are killing commerce and creativity. They don't cover innovative ideas they cover common-sense ideas that most everyone has already had. For instance there is a patent for holes in cloths. Seriously. There is a patent for running wires for portable devices through holes in your cloths. That is idiotic.

Patents aren't used to protect innovative ideas they are used to bludgeon your competitors and make people who create nothing, i.e. lawyers, rich. The only patents I see as valid are for medicines since pharmaceutical companies are actually creating useful things no one has created before... that make your penis harder.

sransari
Jul 30, 2012, 10:57 AM
Patents are killing commerce and creativity. They don't cover innovative ideas they cover common-sense ideas that most everyone has already had. For instance there is a patent for holes in cloths. Seriously. There is a patent for running wires for portable devices through holes in your cloths. That is idiotic.

Patents aren't used to protect innovative ideas they are used to bludgeon your competitors and make people who create nothing, i.e. lawyers, rich. The only patents I see as valid are for medicines since pharmaceutical companies are actually creating useful things no one has created before... that make your penis harder.

So you say that patents cover "common-sense ideas that most everyone has already had" and give the example of a patent for running wires through holes in your clothes. I don't think I've ever owned something like that or thought of anything like that. You then call that idea, "idiotic." The fact that an idea is idiotic actually increases the chance of someone getting a patent for that idea since it's less likely that it's been done before...like in the case of the self butt-kicking machine.

I'm not saying that Apple isn't taking advantage of the patent system at times (because they clearly do), but overall, the patent system encourages inventors to disclose their ideas so that others can learn, and improve on their ideas. In exchange, the inventor gets a set period of time where they can prevent others from making or using their invention.

Kludge420
Aug 1, 2012, 10:57 AM
[You] give the example of a patent for running wires through holes in your clothes. I don't think I've ever owned something like that or thought of anything like that.
I did that in high school. I cut a hole in the lining of my coat from my outer pocket so I could put my Sony walkman in that pocket and have the wires on the inside. I used a male to female wire so I could leave it in the coat and put my headphone speakers in my helmet cutting the wire and reattaching the end to make it shorter.


You then call that idea, "idiotic."
I didn't call the idea idiotic; I called giving someone a patent for it idiotic. I can see how it would be easy to read it either way.


...the patent system encourages inventors to disclose their ideas so that others can learn, and improve on their ideas. In exchange, the inventor gets a set period of time where they can prevent others from making or using their invention.

That may have been the original intent, and it may have been true in the past, but no longer. In reality lawyers have become very good at gaming the system and the mere threat of a lawsuit is enough to stifle a similar but unique invention unless the inventor is backed by a multi-billion dollar corporation. Patents no longer reward innovation they destroy it.