When Apple first came out with an iPhone without a 3.5mm headphone jack, people laughed, thinking it was just a quirky thing that they were trying to bring something new to their customers. Some were annoyed because of the inconvenience this new design brought. But other OEMs were actually already considering doing the same with their devices and so now we’re hearing of the “death” of that particular jack. But Microsoft doesn’t agree and in fact they have filed a patent for a design that may just save it.
One of the reasons given for doing away with the 3.5mm jack is that it prevents phones from becoming thinner. Another is that the internal space it takes up can give way for other things like batteries and vibrators. Cynics also think it’s a way for brands to push their Bluetooth headphones or for people to buy new audio accessories that don’t need the headphone jack. But whatever reason it is, Microsoft plans to save by filing a patent for a “plug receptacle for an electronic device”.
Simply put, the internal headphone silo which is still currently being used will be replaced by an expandable, partially external one. When the headphone jack is not plugged in, the phone will still have a sleek, thin look, just like what a lot of brands are going for now. But when you need to listen to your tunes, the space for the jack will increase without necessarily affecting the structure. It’s pretty hard to imagine what that will look like in actuality, but you get an idea with the configuration drawings submitted for the patent.
While the idea seems to be a good one, what we’re not sure is if it will actually work in a real-life product. Also, the cost implication for such a product is still unknown at this time, so you might just brace yourself to lose the headphone jack a few years from now.
VIA: MS Power User