Apple patent is for new USB connector
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Apple patent is for new USB connector

Apple has filed a patent (number 20120270448) for an USB connector having vertical to horizontal conversion contacts. Per the patent, connector receptacles that provide a right-angle translation, may be readily manufactured, and may have an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

One example may provide a connector receptacle having contacts that provide a right-angle translation. Another example may provide a connector receptacle having an aesthetically pleasing appearance. By inserting an injection molded housing into an over-mold, the interior of a connector may appear to be formed from a single piece of plastic or other material.

Here's Apple's background on the invention: "Electronic devices have become ubiquitous the past several years. The number and types of portable computing devices, tablet, desktop, and all-in-one computers, cell, smart, and media phones, storage devices, portable media players, navigation systems, monitors and other devices has increased tremendously and this increase shows no signs of abating.

"These electronic devices often share power and data between each other using a cable. These cables often have a connector plug on each end that mates with connector receptacles on the electronic devices. These receptacles may have various orientations depending on the practicalities and aesthetics of the device. For example, a laptop computer may have a relatively long, thin side. Receptacles for such a laptop may be arranged in a primarily horizontal manner along its side. Receptacles for other devices may provide an improved appearance or may simplify use if they are placed vertically in the device.

"Connector receptacles are typically attached to boards inside a device. These boards may be main logic or motherboards, daughter boards, or other types of boards. These boards may be printed circuit boards, flexible circuit boards, or other appropriate substrates.

"In various devices, these receptacles and boards may have the same or different orientations. Often, a receptacle and an associated board may have the same orientation. In these cases, contacts in the receptacle can emerge from the receptacle in a direct manner. In other situations, a receptacle and a board may be at right angles, or may be tilted or angled in other ways. This may necessitate an additional board or other device to provide an angle translation.

"Also, for many devices, appearance of the device and its constituent parts may be a selling feature. Moreover, it is often desirable to be able to easily manufacture these connector receptacles. Thus, what is needed are connector receptacles that may provide an angle translation, a pleasing aesthetic appearance, and be readily manufacturable."

The inventors are George Tziviskos, Gregory A. Springer and Zheng Gao.

Also appearing today at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office are:

° Patent number 20120265528 for using context information to facilitate processing of commands in a virtual assistant;

° Patent number 20120265921 for systems and methods for storing and retrieving boot data (e.g., a first stage bootloader) in and from a non-volatile memory ("NVM"), such as a NAND flash memory;

° Patent number 20120270424 for an edge connector for a shielded adapter;

° Patent number 20120270545 for dual network mobile device radio resource management;

° Patent number 20120268392 for a touchpad having a plurality of internal diaphragms that allow the touchpad to sense downward force inputs.

° Patent number 20120268881 for a display housing for a portable computing device that utilizes a plastic cover bonded to an internal metal frame;

° Patent number 20120268881 for a a single piece housing and a display module on a portable computing device;

° Patent number 20120271970 for a technique for aligning a plurality of media clips;

° Patent number 20120271970 for an apparatus, system, and method for processing a media asset by a media asset player in accordance with situational information related to a previous relationship between an identified external device and the media asset player.

Patent number 20120272230 for a power saving application update in a portable electronic device;

Patent number 20120272297 for cross-transport authentication;

Patent number 201202722338 for unified tracking data management.

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