Well, the war between consumers and OEMs to have that 3.5 mm audio jack hasn’t been very old, but there is not a solid stand till now. We some phones carrying it while others opt-in for the type-C adapter. However, looks like this Microsoft Patent wants to offer a mid path. The patent talks about an expandable 3.5 mm audio jack, but to be honest, it doesn’t look very sturdy.
Spotted by TechSpot, the patent is referred as “plug receptacle for an electronic device.”. This means its just not for phones, but for any device. Here is how it works in simple words:
Since its build of the material which can expand, the port stays closed when not in use. When you insert an audio jack, it adapts or stretches or expands outwards to accommodate the plug. Depending on how OEMs design the phone, the expansion can be in the front or back or both sides. This is obviously needed for thinner devices.
The material which expands should have the same function as the original port.
That said, while it sounds good on the concept, it’s not going to an easy one, especially from reliability point of view. Something which expands, and will get used a lot many times, will not be much durable. But then its a patent, and not a product, and patents are filed to make money, well most of the time.
At least, for now, the usability doesn’t fit into the current scenario, but then the future devices might just need it.