A new device called the Pogo is aimed at protecting headphones or earbuds, as it is designed to allow them to break away if pulled, instead of snapping off their plug.
The obvious comparison to make is to Apple's MagSafe charger cables for its laptops – if you pull on one of the magnetically-attaching cables, the plug releases instead of the cable breaking, or even worse, the laptop going for a ride to its doom. The big difference is that the design of the Pogo is universal, so it will work with any 3.5-mm plug – that plug is inserted into the Pogo, which is in turn plugged into the headphone port.
The electrical signal is transferred using four pins on the inside of the device. The magnet in between the pins is what holds everything together. In the demonstration video, which you will find at the bottom of the post, designer Jon Patterson demonstrates that the magnets are strong enough to hold the weight of an iPhone, but will still disconnect when there is a sudden pull.
The Pogo also features connections on both the bottom and side, so it can be used straight, like most headphone plugs, or at a 90-degree angle.
Patterson cites patent issues preventing the product from coming to market just yet. As of now, it stands as a really cool concept for a product, and one that hopefully will find its way to market in the near future.