1. Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar

    An Apple patent getting a lot of notice today shows a design for a new all-in-one cable with a MagSafe connector for power, data and video. AppleInsider is highlighting the patent, first revealed last year, which describes how USB, DVI and Ethernet data could be transferred over a fiber optic cable to a laptop or mobile device inside the same wire as the power connection. Submitted a year before Intel announced its Light Peak technology, the patent suggests that Apple is working on its own alternative way of connecting peripherals to smaller devices.

    Given the popularity of the iPad and the new MacBook Air, Apple is putting increasing focus on lighter, slimmer devices. The case of the MBA, for example, had to be made wider than it otherwise would have been in order to make it large enough to fit a USB connector. Apple has long been rumored to have plans to use Intel's Light Peak optical bus to replace USB and video ports. What the design in the Apple patent offers that's unique is a way of also combining power, allowing Mac OS X as well as iOS devices to charge as well as connect to peripherals like external drives, printers or HD monitors all through a single cable. Patently Apple first discovered the application back in December of last year, but it's getting renewed attention after AppleInsider, apparently independently, discovered the patent today.

    It's possible that this new cable would be used in only smaller devices while desktops and larger laptops would use Light Peak. And while Apple sometimes just "parks" patents in order to keep competitors from profiting from such an innovation, the idea of a single cable replacing not only power, video and USB but also the Dock Connector seems like a perfect fit with Apple's new, slim industrial design.

    Source: AppleInsider
    2011-02-17 11:20 PM
  2. piston597's Avatar
    So I'm on the go I have to get out my charger to quickly access a usb drive? and if I lose my charger that will be a BIG price to get a new one...
    2011-02-17 11:32 PM
  3. ceris7356's Avatar
    I dunno this seems like one of their crazy patents that they never actually use. This looks pretty dumb to me.
    2011-02-18 12:23 AM
  4. coolguy742's Avatar
    That's pretty useful, I want one for my PC though!
    2011-02-18 12:27 AM
  5. JedixJarf's Avatar
    PLEASE NO!!!! Apple I want my ports back, like my dual link DVI on my old 07 mbp, and I want a ton of USB ports like a pc, my new mbp has 2 usb ports that are so close together I can hardly plug in two things at once.
    2011-02-18 12:37 AM
  6. Captinsmooth's Avatar
    I think trying to replace and make usb a legacy port is going to take a very long transition to happen.
    This post infers no rights and is provided as is.

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    2011-02-18 12:42 AM
  7. feidhlim1986's Avatar
    But aren't laptops supposed to be mobile and untethered? Why would you want to be tethered to a cable?
    2011-02-18 12:53 AM
  8. Zokunei's Avatar
    That's one screwed up laptop
    2011-02-18 01:20 AM
  9. Teban's Avatar
    It's a great idea as long as it's an add on not a sole provider of inputting. Unless were talking iPhone/iPad then this thing is a must.
    2011-02-18 02:33 AM
  10. Teban's Avatar
    Slightly related, slightly off topic. Has anyone heard of away to mod an iPad so the USB camera adapter can accept video. And if not why hasn't that been done yet? I bought that thing only in the hopes that it would happen!! Still looking and waiting. When I say accept video, I mean like load movies from a thumb drive.
    2011-02-18 02:36 AM
  11. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
    It's a great idea as long as they still keep the USB, Light Peak, and other components for Macs.
    Asking for help is different from being stupid. Fanboys can rot in @#$%!
    2011-02-18 02:41 AM
  12. Drizahy's Avatar
    Idea is fantastic. MacBookPro with apple display. 1 cable to carry everything. Not 1 ethernet, 1 USB, power cable. Put everything on the back of the display so when you are home it's a quick plug in. When your on the go you have a MagSafe to hub containing USB, FireWire and a plug for the power like the adapter that you can use now on the laptop power brick.
    2011-02-18 03:20 AM
  13. steve-z17's Avatar
    Hmmm this could be interesting.
    2011-02-18 06:04 AM
  14. Waaasobe's Avatar
    Aslong as my next Mbp has all the ports and this I will be a happy camper. If not I will make this face :,( while buying my next Mbp
    2011-02-18 06:40 AM
  15. EskimoRuler's Avatar
    i doubt they are going to take every port away and just have this, it just going to be an alternative. i think i would be nice to have stuff plugged in to this that your only going to use when you at your desk or room and just have to plug in your power. Apple is not dumb enough to take your ports away
    You don't like the iPad because you don't have one!
    2011-02-20 07:14 PM