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Apple ponders USB/DisplayPort cable, peer-to-peer payment

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Thu April 8, 2010

Files for patents at home and abroad

Having just won a collection of patents, Apple has been revealed to be pursuing at least two more ideas. One pair of patent applications, originally submitted in September 2009, depict a cable that would merge DisplayPort and USB 3.0 into one connector. The technologies use comparable amounts of bandwidth, Apple notes, and combining the two would allow for smaller connectors and extra convenience.

Apple has been rumored to be a force behind Light Peak, an Intel interconnection standard that would similarly merge different data types. The USB/DisplayPort combination, however, would be specially aimed at carrying video for monitors alongside peripheral data. Diagrams depict a male plug attached to an iPod.

A third application, submitted through the World Intellectual Property Organization rather than the US Patent and Trademark Organization, documents a way of handling peer-to-peer financial transactions. One device would request payment from another using near-field communications technology. The first would then have to pick a crediting account, and get the transaction authorized by a financial server. A camera could be used to obtain a picture of a "payment instrument," potentially even extracting information through character recognition.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No. NO. NO!!!

    No more frackin' proprietary display cables!!!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: No No No

    But it isn't a proprietary display cable! It's a proprietary USB and Display cable!

    Woohoo! More adapters!

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    New Ethernet connector

    Apple needs to take a hard look at the connectors on the side of their MacBook Pros. The biggest, ugliest and clumsiest is the Ethernet connector. That's bad. Ethernet isn't going to go away, to be replaced by universal WiFi. Businesses where security is important, such as finance and medicine, need wired connections, as do data intensive environments where there's not enough spectrum for all the bits flying about in a limited space. Ethernet connections need to be fast and easy to make, with no risk of a yanked cord sending a valuable laptop flying.

    It'd be great if Apple would develop a new Ethernet connector similar to MagSafe, open source it, and get standards agencies behind it. Everyone would benefit by the change. The current Ethernet connector must be about 30 years old and gives every appearance of being designed for a corporate environment of desktop PCs, where it was a benefit for the IT staff to have a plug that was difficult to remove. That plug needs to join RS232 connectors in the technological dustbin.

  1. MacScientist

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: New Ethernet connector

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

    It's called AAUI (Apple Attachment Unit Interface), Apple's much smaller alternative to the whomping big AUI (Attachment Unit Interface) plug. Apple dropped AAUI in favor of RJ-45 at about the same time that engineering workstation developers dropped AUI in favor of RJ-45.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: new ethernet

    Except for one problem with your grand vision. A laptop with a magsafe connector is fine for power, where the power cable coming off isn't a big deal (since it has battery behind it). This is why you don't see magsafe on minis or imacs. Too easy to lose power and all your work.

    Just imagine copying large files over a network and then you snag the network cable on your desk, ripping it out. Oops. Time to start that copy over. (Just don't do a move, as OS X still, reportedly, has a bug where a failed move call still deletes the files).

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