One of the least exciting pieces of technology on a smartphone is the 3.5-mm audio jack. There's not a lot of room to make changes there, but Magzet is aiming to do some innovating by turning any audio jack into a magnet connector. It's a simple change, but one that promises to make plugging in audio devices easier, and a whole lot cooler.
Why would anyone want magnets on their audio port? According to Jon Hallsten and Jeff Russell, the creators of Magzet, their device offers some benefits, such as the ability to plug in cables more quickly. In the dark, plugging the small jack into the device can be a pain, but tapping a couple of magnets together is quick and easy.
Another nice thing offered by magnets is lower wear and tear on the devices. Instead of plugging and unplugging over and over, the user simply plugs the MAGjack in (the piece that goes into the audio jack), and then the MAGkap (the part that goes on the cable) on each of their headphones – no longer will they need to pull them out, eventually breaking them. Additionally, the magnets will allow the headphones to release quickly if the cord gets pulled, protecting the user's ears and the devices.
The team promises that users can leave the MAGjack portion plugged into their devices at all times. Sound will not be automatically rerouted through the headphone jack unless the MAGkap is plugged in as well, retaining normal device functionality.
A key thing the creators point out is that using Magzet will not hamper any device functionality, which means users can still use inline microphones and controls. The team also promises that its device will not weaken audio quality, so those expensive headphones will sound just as beautiful as they did before.
It should be noted that the creators are promising that the prototype featured is larger than the final design, and that one of the major challenges it is facing is shrinking it down to make it more user-friendly.
Jon Hallsten and Jeff Russell are seeking funding on Kickstarter, with the project quickly making its way towards its US$294,000 goal. Backers who would like to preorder a device can do so starting at $35 for 1 MAGjack and 2 MAGkaps, with prices going up for more devices. Should the project meet its goal, the team expects to deliver Magzets to backers in December.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information and shows the devices in use.