A new patent granted to Apple could eliminate issues with incompatible cables and adapters should the technology ever appear in the real world.
The U.S. patent awarded today — No. 8,280,465 — describes the ways in which a wireless adapter could interface between a device and an accessory.
Such an adapter may come with one wi-fi interface to speak to the instrument and a second wi-fi interface to speak to the accessory.The adapter would be able to handle different wireless protocols, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
A user may encounter a situation where she has multiple portable media players but one or more of these portable media players are incompatible with one of her accessories, Apple stated in the patent filing. It may be undesirable to acquire more than one such accessory, not only due to cost reasons, but also because of other concerns, such as limited space…Thus, what is wanted are circuits, strategies, and equipment that offer compatibility among incompatible equipment and conveyable media gamers.
Apple has run into criticism over its own incompatibilities with its new Lighting interface.
More compact than the traditional 30-pin adapter, Lighting requires special $39 and $29 adapters to connect the new iPhone to existing accessories. Users who wish to plug their iPhones into their TVs or computer displays also may reportedly want to buy HDMI or VGA adapters.
The technology described within the patent might allow units with other interfaces keep in touch with one different, therefore reducing the need to buy a bunch of physical cables.