Microsoft Patents a Design to Bring Back Headphone Jacks to Smartphones

Even though Microsoft’s smartphone line and Windows Mobile OS are officially dead, the company has secured a patent which features several methods to create a 3.5mm headphone jack which fits into a space less than 3.5mm.

According to the patent, it would require the receiving and transmitting pins aligned on one side of the headphone jack. It would work using an expandable membrane which would stretch when the 3.5mm pin is inserted and remain flat when not in use.

Several designs are expected – some may feature up to two flexible membranes to create a “compartment” like structure for the plug head. Manufacturers are moving towards innovation and improved designs – sleekness and thinness being one of their important requirements.

Standard connectors may be available with standard sizes. Standard audio connectors or plugs are popular in three sizes based on the outside diameter of the plug: 6.35 mm, 3.5 mm and 2.5 mm plugs. Standard receptacles for such connectors may include an opening having an interior diameter sized so that it can receive and engage the plug and may, for example, therefore exceed 3.5-4 mm for a 3.5 mm audio connector.

For thin electronic devices, the thickness of such a standard receptacle may be challenging to accommodate. The standard receptacle may be thicker than the electronic device, or the standard receptacle may take up so much space within the electronic device that it may be more challenging to fit internal components such as a display, electronics, a battery etc. inside the electronic device.

Recently, we got to see that that smartphone manufacturers have started moving towards phone without headphone jack due to “lack of space”, which has received a lot of criticism from the users. However, if the manufacturers decide to use this design in their devices, this could mean the revival of headphones using the 3.5mm jack.

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