Microsoft has invented a new way of recharging wireless peripherals like your mouse while you continue with your work on a notebook or desktop. The design utilizes magnetic cable connectors that plug into the underside of a future mouse and then into a USB styled transceiver dongle. The magnetic connectors very much resemble those used in Apple's MagSafe. While it may be considered a very simple invention, it's definitely a practical one that would meet the needs of many. Report Updated June 09, 2012.
Microsoft Invents New Twist to Recharging Peripherals
We begin our report by taking a look at Microsoft's patent FIG. 1 below which provides us with an isometric view of a possible future mouse (100) interfaced with a notebook.
In Microsoft's invention scenario, the notebook is operating as a charging and a communication device for the mouse. While the mouse could communicate with the notebook through a wireless transceiver, it could also communicate through a transceiver dongle (104) adapted to transmit power from the notebook to the mouse so as to recharge the mouse's battery. The user is able to continue their work while the mouse is recharging. It's a feature that I wish was available today.
Microsoft states that the wired mode could also be useful in situations for added security or when wireless devices are prohibited such as in airplanes or hospitals.
The Transceiver Dongle & Magnetic Connectors
In Microsoft's patent FIG. 3 shown below we're able to see the transceiver dongle which is in the form of a USB device. On the opposite end of the USB connector there are a plurality of connector pins noted as 304A, 304B and 304C. These connector pins are adapted to interface with corresponding pins on the connector (234) noted in patent FIG. 4.
The backend of the connector (232) includes a magnet (306) adapted to attract a corresponding magnet on the connector 234 of patent FIG. 4. This very much resembles Apple's proprietary magnetically-attached MagSafe power connector that first debuted in 2006. The twist of course is in Microsoft's application which is to power the batteries in wireless peripherals allowing users to continue their work.
Additionally, patent FIG. 4 illustrates that housing 410 is disc shaped and adapted to fit within a recess of a mouse or peripheral as seen in patent figures 6 and 8 below.
The Underside of the Mouse Contains a Connector Recess
In Microsoft's patent FIG. 6 we see an isometric view of the bottom surface of the mouse which includes a connector receiving portion (600) that includes both a connector recess (602) and a cable recess (604). The connector recess receives the connector and cable recess 604 receives the cable in a manner that doesn't interfere with the functionality of the mouse.
While the focus of Microsoft's invention was on a mouse, the fact is that the input devices could equally be any peripheral that makes sense with a notebook or desktop. The patent notes such future peripherals as an Xbox controller (game controller), smartphone, smart-watch, PDA, camera, printer, scanner and so forth.
Update June 09, 2012: Microsoft first introduced the basics of this feature in their 2009 SideWinder gaming mouse as the photo below illustrates. Moving it to a standard consumer mouse has yet to occur.
Microsoft's patent application was originally filed in Q1 2012 and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office in Q2 2012.The patent is associated with a series of continuation patents dating back to 2007.
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