Smartphone technology is evolving at a rapid pace by bringing new innovations to the table and removing some at the same time. Last year Apple caught immense attention as it removed the 3.5mm audio jack from the iPhone 7-series. Although Apple received heavy backlash for doing so, many smartphone brands followed suit. Now a new patent filed by Microsoft appears to solve the problem of retaining the audio jack without affecting the design.

It has been argued that the removal of the audio helps OEMs keep the smartphone build slim. It also makes way for other components to take more space such as battery, larger displays and more. There are also others who argue that this is a tactic for brands to promote wireless headphones. First reported by MSPowerUser, Microsoft has filed a patent is titled “Plug receptacle for an electronic device”.

Microsoft patent

According to the patent filed, the design language would be such that the headphone jack would be an expandable one. Also, it will only be pulled or stretched out when someone needs it. Otherwise, the smartphone’s design will remain the same and may even give the illusion of no headphone jack at all. ALSO READ: Microsoft employee switches from Edge browser to Chrome mid-presentation

Microsoft further details how this would work. It says, “A plug receptacle is disclosed, comprising a receptacle housing having a passage configured to receive at least a part of a plug of a plug connector, a front side having a first opening and a top side having a second, elongated opening that intersects the first opening, the passage opening to the front side via the first opening and to the top side via the second opening.”

It also says that that the plug receptacle will come with a cover which can be pulled in and out. There are three proposed designs for this headphone jack. In one there would be a flexible material that will expand when the headphone is plugged in. There would also be a hard pleated material which would expand in the same way. As for the last design, it is said that the plug receptacle will expand in both directions. Considering this is only a patent, the production may or may not take place. However, it does sound interesting for an alternative to saving the headphone jack. ALSO READ: Microsoft Skype for desktop gets a new design, themes and more