Microsoft isn’t really making any smartphones now. But when they did, they always had the 3.5mm audio jack. The main reason behind the elimination of the traditional audio jack wasn’t the cost, but the difficulty to accommodate it in slimmer phones of modern day. To overcome the same, Microsoft has come with new patented ideas for minimizing the space requirement of the good old headphone jack.
The Redmond giant has published multiple patents surrounding various designs of the audio jack in US Patent Office. The designs show numerous ways to incorporate the 3.5mm jack in a device that thinner than 3.5mm. While we may not have seen a smartphone as thin as 3.5mm yet, but it’s not long before we get to see one. Maybe in a year or two, some manufacturer will come up with one. Then, the OEM would have to remove the headphone jack, but the new age designs by Microsoft would enable the brand to still continue with the traditional jack.
The patent designed by Microsoft involves aligning the receiver and transmitting pins on one side of the jack. The jack on the hind side would be kept snug in an expandable membrane. This membrane would remain flush when not in use. Additionally, the patent images reveal some designs with one or two pleated or flexible membranes to create e compartment for the 3.5mm headphone head.
Microsoft may be the first to implement this patented design in its Surface tablet. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing a similar implementation in a phone anytime soon as the Redmond giant has stopped producing smartphones of their own. However, Microsoft may work with some hardware partner in near future on building a smartphone using their patented design. Nevertheless, nothing is going to happen anytime soon. The new patents, however, bring forward new possibilities for incorporating the jack, and we may see other manufacturers stepping in by building more improved designs of the same.