Currently present in its line of desktop and laptop computers (but not the Mac Pro), could Apple be bringing Thunderbolt to its media players next?
It's been a little less than a year since Intel's Thunderbolt interface hit the market in Apple's MacBook Pro line and it seems Cupertino may be ready to spread the love around a little. Recently filed patents from Apple hint that the company could be considering bringing Thunderbolt to iOS devices in the future.
The patents, which were first spotted by Patently Apple, highlight the increasing amounts of information transferred between and among electronic devices. As such, Apple feels new cables are needed to keep up. The company goes on to discuss the possibility of a new type of cable that could provide faster charging time as well as faster data transfers using active electronic components (such as integrated circuits), boosted strength, improved heat dissipation, and the use of different voltages for charging versus data signals. What's more, Patently Apple writes that one of the patents mentions media players specifically:
"Before going into the details of this main patent in their series of three, it should be noted that Apple states in their secondary patent application that "the present invention, connection may also be a new type of connection." For example, "a connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices."
Considering the part Apple played in the development with Thunderbolt, it's not surprising the company apparently wants to implement the super-fast interface across its entire line. Add that to the fact that Apple last year filed several Thunderbolt-related trademarks, and an iPad or iPod equipped with the technology doesn't seem at all unlikely. Of course, it will probably be a while before we see this implemented, but we're going to file this one under the 'not just for the heck of it' patents, along with Microsoft's DVR Xbox.