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    MagSafe Charger Making a Comeback in New Avatar?

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    Ashrita Dkhar
    Ashrita Dkhar Apr 13, 2019

    With the AirPower project cancelled, our dreams of a multi-device wireless charging mat were squashed. But when one door shut on our faces, a ray of sunshine passed through a tiny peephole. That’s precisely what seems to be happening at the Apple headquarters – The charging mat’s gone, but MagSafe might be making a comeback!

    Get Acquainted with Magsafe

    For those of you who live under a rock, let me tell you what boon-of-a-technology this MacBook charger is. But first, let me ask how many times has your absent-minded brain and clumsy little body snagged your MacBook charger? Too many times to count?

    It must give you a heart attack every time you almost crash your Macbook no thanks to the USB-C charger. Well, those who have the 2015 or earlier models of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air have no idea there’s an experience like that (there are pros and cons to everything, huh?)! Their Mac chargers come with a magnetic connector that magically unplugs during the occasional trips and slips. So they don’t have to do the theatrics of dramatically diving to save the falling Macbook. All thanks to the MagSafe technology.

    Bringing the Magic Back

    The current USB-C cord, in contrast, can cause to the charger itself! According to Apple, “The plug connector can be pulled in a direction that it is not intended to travel, thereby causing physical damage to the plug connector and/or the receptacle connector.”

    And worst, with a little tug, the cord might pull your Macbook of the table and onto the floor w. Which we all agree would be a tragedy.

    So, Apple is revisiting the concept of charging cables attached with magnets. And that, folks, seems to be the rebirth of MagSafe connector, albeit definitely in a new avatar.

    A Rebirth in the Making

    Apple reportedly received a patent for “Smart Charging Systems for Portable Electronic Devices”. And this could only mean one thing. Magnets in cables will be making a comeback!

    Now, before we get ahead of ourselves and expect all things impossible from this new product, let’s see what the company has to say. Apple says, “The smart charging system includes a magnetized connector and a charging component that can be configured to dynamically attract and repel the connector to and from the portable electronic device.”

    And they’re not kidding when they say they want to create a dynamic product! Like all things Apple, they want to design a connector so good that the system will take an active part in disconnecting itself should there be an accident. Impossible? We can only wait till they make it possible.

    “The connector can be disconnected from the portable electronic device by the charging component before the jolting event occurs.”

    According to the reports, the system will also send the user haptic feedback notifying a secure connection. So, no more wondering whether it’s connected well or looking for a green light to appear to signal a good connection.

    And the best part? While the predecessor was only available for MacBooks, the patent indicates that “smartphone, wearable device, smart watch, tablet, personal computer and the like” could all be used with the new magnetized charging system.

    But can there be good news without the bad?

    Roadblocks Ahead

    The USB-C charger served two purposes – charge MacBook and transfer data. According to the patent, the new charger which will have magnets in place might or might not support data transfer.

    And this makes us wonder how the new technology will be any different from the older one. One of the reasons why Apple didn’t continue MagSafe was because they couldn’t transfer both data and power due to the speed limitations.

    However, innerexile, a third-party accessory maker, claims to have found a way to make it work. They came up with ThunderMag – a two-part detachable magnetic adaptor. One half on the hardware is fitted inside a Macbook’s Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port and the second half is a port with the magnetic adaptor where you can plug the charger into.

    So, it isn’t entirely impossible for Apple to find a way to make this work. If they put their everything into this project, they might just be able to pull it off.

    But, of course, this is only a patent application. And, after the last not-less-than-traumatic experience with the cancellation of AirPower Mat, we’d like to be a bit more sceptical with new product launches. Remember, we did say “tiny peephole” at the beginning of our article, not another door.

    That said, we still have our fingers crossed because MagSafe is one of the most noticable ommission in the latest Macbooks and having it back will bring joy to many!

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