Patent struggles may keep this MagSafe-like headphone adapter from being made

By , Aug 25, 2013

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I’ve always thought Apple’s magnetic MagSafe power connector was an ingenious piece of tech. In fact, I was hoping to see them include it in the iPhone 5 and other iOS products. But obviously, that wish never materialized.

Designer Jon Patterson is still trying to make it happen, though, with the Pogo, a MagSafe-like magnetic connector for your iPhone. He’s only using it for headphones right now, but he says it’ll likely work for power cords too…

The Verge reports:

“Pogo consists of two parts, a 3.5mm jack, which plugs into your device’s headphone port, and a 3.5mm port, which you plug your regular headphones into. The two pieces are held together by a neodymium magnet and four “pogo” pins, which allow signal to pass through but also disconnect if you pull hard on the wire. In a concept video, Patterson envisions users having multiple Pogo jacks plugged into different devices, allowing you to plug your headphones into a number of devices without fussing with the connectors.”

And here’s the concept video:

Unfortunately, that’s all the Pogo is right now, a concept. Patterson says that all he has right now is a non-working prototype created using a 3D printer. Sure, he’d like to develop it further, but he’s worried about patent infringement.

Thus far, Patterson hasn’t received a response from companies holding key patents that Pogo could infringe on. So while he has big plans for the project, he doesn’t think he’ll ever get the green-light from “aggressive” patent-holders.

And that’s too bad, because if I ever saw the Pogo on a site like Kickstarter, I’d back it in a heartbeat. It just goes to show you how badly the current patent system needs to be reformed. It’s supposed to protect innovation, not suppress it.

What do you think of the Pogo?

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  • Derik Stroisch

    MAKE IT!!!! i would buy one for every idevice i have including my macbook if it ever was to become a real product.

  • Cameron Nelms

    AWESOME. But when I drop my phone, my headphones wont be able to save it. D:

  • Derik Stroisch

    MAKE IT!! i would buy one for every idevice i have including my macbook. i think it is a great idea

  • disqus_TMmElvKDq6

    so when i drop my iPhone it can smash to the ground instead of the headphones saving it, terrible idea.

    • trumpet444

      A magsafe-like connector would be much better for when my headphone cable gets caught onto something so the phone isn’t ripped out of my hands. Has happened to my iPod a lot

  • Frozen Bee .GFKS

    well, for phone idk, but for macbook it would be awsome!

  • CryptoCoin420

    What about those with cases? I have to use a real narrow head phone jack to fit mine. With the circle magnet at the end I dont see how that would ever work if you have a case.

  • Phil Randle

    cool idea, but my iPhone is always in my Jeans pocked, and i can see this unplugging itself every time I try to get my phone out.

  • Jonathan

    If a company doesn’t have any intention of making the subject if a patent or at least licensing it out. The patent should be denied/revoked

  • JaeM1llz

    Just use bluetooth headphones

    • iPhone Gruru

      Poor audio quality and an extra battery to charge is too much of a hassel

      • JaeM1llz

        I have aptX bluetooth headphones that use a lossless codec. The quality is identical to wired headphones and I charge it at the same time I charge my phone, no hassel at all.

  • Jan Newbould

    Will putting powerfull magnets on the phone affect the compass and other sensitive equipment in the iPhone?

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Would love to utilise this on my Surface Pro, but not my iPhone. Can’t count how many times my wired head phones have saved my iPhone from dropping. Wonder if the audio starts going out through the speakers when the magnetic part disconnects…

    BTW if he doesn’t have a functioning prototype, the patent should be rejected! “I Thought it First” shouldn’t be patentable, only “I Made it First”. That rewards true inventors and prevents patent trolls…

  • David Fabian

    Couldn’t he try to license the tech?