Only Connect: Apple’s MagSafe connector makes sense

Welcome to another post in the series Only Connect. It is written by Nick Locke, of Nicab Ltd, who has over 15 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly.As we ease ourselves into 2011 wondering what this year will bring in interconnection and innovation there is news that Apple’s iPad &iPhone may soon sprout magnetic connectors for fast disengage.
Patently Apple is reporting that a recent – and apparently rather hastily published – continuation patent application seems to reveal the company’s intention to integrate its MagSafe power connector into future versions of portables such as the iPhone and iPad.  The MagSafe connector is held in place magnetically so that if tugged on, it disengages from the socket easily and safely, without damaging it or the computer. Thus alleviating the dreaded laptop-hits-floor scenario when someone accidentally pulls or trips on the power cord! 

Wikipedia notes that the MagSafe is similar to the magnetic power connectors that many deep fryers and Japanese countertop cooking appliances have in order to avoid spilling their dangerously hot contents.

I like what Darius Chang, commenting at CNET Asia, has to say on all this:

"The MagSafe connector is one of those features which makes so much sense that one wonders why it has not become a universal standard...Still, not all patents actually take on physical form, take this with a pinch of salt for now".

Having had personal experience with having my laptop being pulled off the table by my daughter pulling on the power lead (busted laptop daughter unharmed), I can't wait to see this type of connector system more widely adopted. It is something many insurance companies would be keen to see introduced too!

Nick Locke, director at Nicab Ltd, has over 15 years experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly. Driven by a passion for interconnection he spends a great deal of his time searching out the latest technology and innovation in interconnection & manufacturing in general.

Keen to pass on information his aim is to engage the electronics community in the subjects and issues he believes are important. Totally devoted to the promotion of the electronics manufacturing industry he sees the future of electronics manufacturing as vital component in the UK economy.

Previous Only Connect entries:

* Only Connect: A quick and simple guide to Coax Connectors

* Only Connect: IDC Connectors & Cable

* Only Connect: A quick and simple guide to Coax Connectors

* Only Connect: Eco-gift for Christmas (Going Green #4)

* Only Connect: How to promote UK Manufacturing #3

* Only Connect: On using Ethernet connectors

* Only Connect: High-temp superconductors good news for renewable energy

* Only Connect: A positive mindset for winning government contracts

* Only Connect: A Top Ten of connector manufacturers

* Only Connect: Red toxic sludge points the way (Going Green #3)

* Only Connect: Handy Design Tips #4 - Explosion proof Ethernet

* Only Connect: We're changing the world into a better place, baby!

* Only Connect: Handy Design Tips #3 - The right wrong connector

* Only Connect: Proud of the Made In UK mark

* Only Connect: Handy Design Tips #1 - Colour

* Only Connect: Better promoting the value of UK manufacturing

* Only Connect: Easy ways to go green

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