Apple could have wireless Lightning adapter in the works

By , Oct 2, 2012

Apple’s new, miniaturized dock connector that debuted on the iPhone 5 under the Lightning moniker so far proved an annoyance as customers with legacy 30-pin dock accessories are required to purchase Apple’s pricey adapter. Worse, as Apple’s cable has an authentication chip, it has been concluded that third-party alternatives offered by places like Alibaba.com won’t work.

But as a patent filing indicates, Apple is researching an interesting solution that could help ease Lightning woes with  a universal adapter for iOS devices which facilitates, as Apple wrote, “the transmission of wireless data to any accessory”

According to a patent filing entitled “Wireless adapter for interfacing between an accessory and a device” and discovered by AppleInsider in the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database, wireless technologies could be used instead of either or both the connector insert and connector receptacle, thus obsoleting Apple’s clunky cable and direct-plug 30-pin dock adapters.

Yes, this invention could let your Lightning-equipped iOS devices talk to legacy accessories over-the-air.

In a way, it’s an extension of an Apple patent dating back to 2008.

Apple explains in the filing:

Users may have more than one type of media player. For example, a user may have a high-capacity portable media player for home use and a smaller, low-capacity portable media player for use at the gym.

For various reasons, these media players may have different sized connectors. For example, the media players may be made by different manufacturers. Also, they may be made by one manufacturer, but a newer media player may have a more advanced, smaller sized connector receptacle.

But how exactly would a wireless-enabled iOS device connect to a non-wireless accessory?

By putting wireless circuitry into an adapter, of course:

Another embodiment of the present invention provides an adapter that can have a connector receptacle to mate with a connector insert located on an accessory or docking station. This adapter can also have a wireless circuit for communicating with the media player. The adapter can translate signals between the accessory and the portable media player.

The solution Apple proposes could theoretically provide compatibility among incompatible accessories and iOS devices stemming from both the physical and electrical differences between the ports.

What do you think, should Apple pursue this solution or simply count on the accessory industry transitioning to Lightning over time?

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  • Blake

    Why doesn’t iDB have an app?

    • jose castro

      lets see possibly because it has to do with jailbreaking lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

        modmyi.com has an app. bgr.com has an app. They both cover jailbreaking.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        Hey. Cute pic. M4m?

      • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

        negatory.

    • MadAndronicus

      I asked that same question many years ago. The response was something like, “some day we may have an app, but we prefer to put our time and resources into blah blah blah instead.”

      • Blake

        I literally wrote them an app, and they wont even acknowledge me. >:(

    • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

      Very good question. We will eventually have an app but I don’t want to rush and get an app out just for the sake of having an app. I’ve never met anyone that impressed me enough to give this project to. But I did meet some interesting people at JailbreakCon, so who knows. In the meantime, I think the web app is pretty darn good.

      • Blake

        Did you take a look at the app I put together?

      • Bob

        Why are the idb staff ignoring you? I’ve seen your app on Youtube. I don’t know why they’re being so retarded, atleast reply to the guy.

      • MadAndronicus

        Well I’d like to see your app. Another poster said you had a YouTube video of it. Link please?

    • Jason Trachte

      Just make a home screen icon/shortcut. That’s what I did. It’s just like having an app. Nice icon and loads the mobile website.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yasser-Kaskas/515387178 Yasser Kaskas

    Good question Blake…but in regards to this I just found out about the no 3rd party accessories and im pissed about that. I have a buttload of accesories for the 30 pin and am not willing to cough up $30-$40 bucks each to have one in the car, one at home and one at the office, not to mention how unattractive having a doc on everything would look. That being said a wirless solution would be a good consilation… but latley I find myself considering the HTC One X+…and that scares me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    sounds convoluted and complicated..

  • Matthew

    Where can I get Blakes app?