Mobile Technology

Another startup wants to make a MagSafe charger for iPhones (and Androids)

The MuConnect comprises two parts: a pin and a connector
The MuConnect comprises two parts: a pin and a connector
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The MuConnect comprises two parts: a pin and a connector
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The MuConnect comprises two parts: a pin and a connector
Once in place, the two section will snap together when moved close to each other and are reversible, so do not need to be any particular way around
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Once in place, the two section will snap together when moved close to each other and are reversible, so do not need to be any particular way around
The MuConnect's pin section fits into a device's charging port and its connector slots onto the charger itself
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The MuConnect's pin section fits into a device's charging port and its connector slots onto the charger itself
The MuConnect is available for use with microUSB and Apple Lightning chargers
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The MuConnect is available for use with microUSB and Apple Lightning chargers
The MuConnect is able to be used with phone cases
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The MuConnect is able to be used with phone cases
The MuConnect has a slider that can increase charging speed (when connected to computers' USB ports) by disabling data transfer functionality
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The MuConnect has a slider that can increase charging speed (when connected to computers' USB ports) by disabling data transfer functionality

Phone charging cables can sometimes be awkward to plug in, pull phones off surfaces or get damaged when bent. Inspired by Apple's MagSafe chargers for MacBooks, the MuConnect is aimed at making charging your smartphone a snap.

MuConnect is almost exactly the same product as Znaps, which surpassed its goals on Kickstarter in mid-2015. Like Znaps, there are separate models of the MuConnect with microUSB (Android) and Apple Lightning (iPhone) connectors. The system has two parts: the pin section fits into a device's charging port and its connector slots onto the charger itself.

Once in place, the two parts will snap together magnetically when moved close to each other. They're also reversible, so (like Apple's Lightning, USB-C cables and the MagSafe chargers that inspired MuConnect) there's no need to fumble around trying to find the "right" direction. If tugged, the pin and connector will separate easily, meaning the user's device won't be pulled of a table or worktop if the cable is caught by a hand or foot.

The MuConnect's pin section fits into a device's charging port and its connector slots onto the charger itself
The MuConnect's pin section fits into a device's charging port and its connector slots onto the charger itself

The only difference we can see between MuConnect and Znaps is that this one has a fast charging setting for when it's plugged into a PC's or laptop's USB port: a slider on the connector can increase charging speed in those settings by disabling data transfer functionality (note that this will have no effect on charging speed when plugged into a wall outlet).

The company says its cable should fit with phone cases as well, and it has an LED light to illuminate where the end the charging cable is in the dark. You do have the minor inconvenience of a tiny nub hanging off the bottom of your phone, but we imagine many people will find that to be an acceptable compromise.

The cable will be the subject of an Indiegogo campaign starting on February 1, where a minimum pledge of US$12 will secure a cable if/when they ship. You can get updates at the product page below, and watch the pitch in the video embedded underneath.

Product page: MuConnect

World's First Fast Charging Magnetic Charger : Muconnect

8 comments
Snarkhunter
No discussion on whether this and the similar Znaps violate Apple's Magsafe patent? Seems like they do...
FábioAlvesCorrêa
Doesn't wireless charging make this technology kind of moot?
Daishi
@Snarkhunter Apple may have a design patent on the MagSafe adapter but the idea of magnetic cable couplings themselves pre-date Apple. A text from patent US5401175A from 1993 references some of the previous patents as prior art in the field. Here is that text from background info: >Magnetic force to hold connectors together have been used. See for example, the U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,363,214, 3,521,216, 3,651,447, 3,786,391, 3,808,577, 3,810,258, 4,844,582, 4,874,316, and 5,004,425. These connectors utilize various ways for aligning and arranging electrical connectors between cable ends, which are held together by magnetic force. Those patents from the 60's and 70's all cover various different magnetic plug designs. If you exactly copied the dimensions and specs of the MagSafe plug sure Apple could claim rights to it but the idea of magnetic power connectors is not owned by Apple Inc no matter how many lawyers they have saying otherwise. Here is a concept drawing from 1966 of a breakaway magnetic power adapter: http://i.imgur.com/0bCiwQi.png Several more similar designs have been created since.
christopher
They should have worked harder - a teeny tiny switch to engage full-power? WTF? More pins or bigger pins would have made a whole lot more sense!
SiteGuy
@christopher—I think you misunderstood the full-power switch. With that feature, they *added* functionality that didn't previously exist. The switch disables data transfer, which also maximizes charging power transfer during connection to a laptop or car charger—something that you can't normally do at all. It's "value added", not an item to replace something that they took away with their MagSafe-style charging accessory.
MatthewHarden
Make it "chew proof" from cats and dogs.
DaveWesely
What blows me away is why Apple removed the mag safe port from their new powerbooks. If anything they should have integrated it into the tablet/phone line instead of the new smaller plug. I miss Jobs.
pmshah
Jobs himself has admitted to the fact that he first saw this implemented in Japan from where he got the idea in the first place. How Apple patented it, if at all they did, is anybody's guess ! What I can't understand is why can't the rest of the laptop manufacturers implement this idea. I have seen a lot of people having to buy new chargers or having to get the ports repaired because the connectors simply broke !
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