Apple has filed a patent application to add an optical signal path to future MagSafe connectors that would let the port send and receive data, as well as power the device.
Discovered by AppleInsider, the patent notes that "presently, satisfying these two requires at least two connections to the mobile device; one for power and one for data transmission but including two (or more) connectors increases cost and consume space, typically along the side of the mobile device. It also requires the user to make two separate connections, thus limiting the usefulness and desirability of the mobile computing format."
Apple's solution would include a fiber optic line inside a connector that looks much like the existing MagSafe power connector found on its line of MacBooks. But it would include additional "pins" inside the connector to allow data transfer for multiple types of inputs.
Potential input methods listed by Apple include USB, fiber-optic, local area networking (LAN) cables, DVI video, and DisplayPort. Corresponding connectors for these devices would be included on the power and data adapter.
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- Posted using my iPhone 4