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Apple patent woos with tales of ultra-slim audio connectors for lusciously thin devices

Tim Stevens

We're still a long way from reaching the point where our gadgets can't get any thinner and, while the 8.7mm iPod Shuffle is just about king of the hill for the moment, Apple is already envisioning a future where where the humble 3.5mm audio jack is too thick. A recently revealed patent application called "Low Profile Plug Receptacle" describes a number of different ways to create audio ports that are thinner than current models but yet won't take us back to the sinister miniUSB adapter days of yore. One of the potential solutions has a "semi-flexible" housing that expands willingly to receive your headphones' clumsy attentions, while another is recessed beneath a pair of doors that flip open to make room when the plug is inserted. As always with these applications there's no reason to believe they'll be ever appearing in a consumer device, but that doesn't mean we can't dream of a future where the gold-plated jack on your buds is thicker than the bulkiest part of your phone.

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