I come to you today with some good news: Apple has just filed a patent that may reduce consumer headaches for the rest of our lives. The bad news? Pending review, Apple will have a patent on this new technology. While Apple is very well known for protecting their patents with fervor and their seemingly bottomless pockets, that doesn't make this invention (more like an iteration) any less cool.
A top problem I have seen and had myself with headphones is a ruined jack. With their new filing, they describe an audio connector (specifically a 3.5 mm jack) that is manufactured from a flexible material which allows it to bend during use.
This is not the first time that Apple has filed audio jack patents concerned with improving connectors and/or making them smaller. It makes sense, as the size of a 3.5mm or even 2.5mm jack must remain the same which in turn limits how small a mobile device can be. If the past is any indicator, they'll most likely succeed.
You can read a full write up at Apple Insider
, complete with more diagrams and a complete breakdown.