In a very complicated and long post, Patently Apple discusses a few new ground-breaking patents filed by Apple. There’s a lot of interesting things in these patents, but one thing stuck out as particularly interesting: programable magnetic power cables.[quote]Apple’s invention discusses connectors and methods of coupling electronic devices and cables. In one embodiment a cable is provided having a coupler with dynamic pins. The coupler may have a magnetic code used to identify the connector and the pins may be controlled to extend a distance to provide a desired coupling. Thus, a single connector may be used for multiple different devices. […] Further, it should be appreciated that coded magnets may be programmed or reprogrammed dynamically by using one or more electromagnetic maxels to form the coded surface pattern. As current is applied to the electromagnetic maxels they will produce a magnetic field. When no voltage is applied, these maxels would be magnetically inert. When the input current is reversed, the polarity of the maxels likewise reverses. Thus, the coding of the coded magnet may be changed through application of electricity.[/quote]
In the simplest of terms, a future magsafe connector would know when you plug in your MacBook Pro as opposed to your husband’s MacBook Air. It would then be able to change settings automatically. That is insanely cool technology. What’s even more impressive is that the magnet can be programmed and reprogrammed at any time. Imagine a reality in which everything you plug into or go near automatically knows what your device is and what its surroundings should change to accommodate it.
Keep in mind, patents aren’t necessarily indications of what Apple plans to do in the future. Even if Apple does have plans, Patently Apple points out that these patents were only filed this past July. It’s likely that an implementation, if any, is years away.