Apple's Shape-Shifting Cradle Seems Impossible

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    iPods on their docks.

    It's so convenient to have a charging cradle for your iPhone or iPod, letting you park it for rejuvenation in no time flat.

    But Apple must be annoyed by all the adapters and various shapes necessary to accommodate its line of music players and phones, so it's filed for a patent for this universal dock that conforms to the shape of whatever you place into it.

    The strange substance that cradles that gadget is made out of elastic spongy stuff, and it somehow retains that shape after you remove the device.

    If you want to place a different device into it, you push the reset button on the front and that previous shape is forgotten, ready to accommodate a new one. Until Apple can build in wireless charging, this'll do for a while.