Magnetic toy company to announce magnetic electronics connector 'Nanoport'

Nano Magnetics, a toy company which makes tiny magnetic balls called 'Nanodots', is set to announce their expansion into the mobile market with their newest device: A "universal magnetic connector technology". 

The company, which makes magnetic desk toys similarly to competitors 'Buckyballs' and 'Zen Magnets', has posted an event listing on CESWeb.org, the webpage for the Consumer Electronics Show -- an annual electronics trade show which showcases upcoming products from around the industry. According to the page, Nano Magnetics is planning to announce 'NanoPort', a product which they claim will "demonstrate how its new magnetic interface will extend the possibilities of device interaction and explore the potential of enabled electronics, peripherals and appliances." Thus far nothing else has been announced about 'Nanoport', and the company declined requests to share further details. However, viewers will get to see the device firsthand on Tuesday, January 7th at their press event during CES 2014. 

This comes over a year after major controversy about the popular magnetic toy balls, after a rash of cases involving small children and even teenagers swallowing the magnets came to light. The magnetic toys came under heavy scrutiny afterwards, with other companies having their products banned outright by the federal government's Consumer Product Safety Commission. The ban eventually led industry leader Buckyballs to shut down business and liquidate their assets. All of this has led to a tough industry for the toymakers, which would make expansion into other markets a smart move, and even smarter if their product lives up to the hype.

Source: CESWeb via CNET | Image via Nanodots.com

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Long overdue. My Nexus 10 uses a magnetic "pogo connector" on a dock we found and it's so nice to place it instead of fumbling with connectors. Eliminates potential damage to micro usb ports as well.

Maybe this company hasn't realised yet that microUSB is pretty much the de-facto standard for phones.

TCLN Ryster said,
And it should be for the rest of eternity?

Rather it was a genetic royalty free connector than some propietry patented connector with a royalty for each time it's produced which you can only get from one company, yes.

And you know this new connector will require royalties, be produced by a single company, and not be freely licensed for others to use... how exactly?

I'm not saying you're wrong, but at this stage, neither you or I know anything about this technology. Let's wait until we actually know what this is, and their plans for it before slaying it and burning it with fire. Ok? Technology will never advance ever again if people reject anything new before even knowing anything about it.

How do I know, because it takes money to develop things, they would get a patent on it anyone could do it and they've got to see an ROI (return on investment), that's how I know it'll be a steep price.
Otherwise drug companies wouldn't bother patenting their newest drugs.

Again an invalid argument lacking any facts. By your logic, USB just magicked itself into existence and didn't require development.

Hell, this new magnetic connector solution could very well have USB at it's core. Fact is that nobody here, including you, knows anything about this or can feasibly claim to.

Actually designers/etc. pay for the royalties of USB, the connectors can be produced by any company without any royalty costs, that's because USB isn't a connector, it's a huge complex bus system.

That maybe so, the but the point I'm trying to make is this.... how do you know this new magnetic thing (whether it's just a connector, or a "huge complex bus system") isn't any different? You don't. It's foolish to make assumptions and generalisations without having even the slightest shred of fact on the situation.

Lord Method Man said,
Pathetic that we've allowed government to grow to search absurd levels.

Yeah, I totally agree. Product safety? Who needs it? Caveat Emptor baby. Too stupid to know better than to let your small children play with such things? Think of it as evolution in action.

For some interesting reading I'd recommend reading up on Craig Zucker, the former CEO of BuckyBalls and his fight with the CPSC. He apparently publicly offended one of the commission members within the CPSC which led to an all out war declared against his company and him personally. What's interesting (and scary) is that his company Maxfield & Oberton Inc. was forced into bankruptcy due to the CPSC coming down on them. After the bankruptcy the CPSC decided to sue him directly for the cost of the product recall ($57 million) which the WSJ described perfectly as "an astounding departure from the principle of limited liability at the heart of U.S. corporate law". It's unheard of and an interesting case. I love BuckyBalls and have been following the case ever since it came to light and Maxfield & Oberton went under. It's pretty scary how some people with a little bit of power can get their britches in a twist over a bit of public humility and take it so personally.

At one point the CPSC said that the warnings on the packaging/box weren't enough, and they wanted a separate warning printed on each single ball.

The_Decryptor said,
At one point the CPSC said that the warnings on the packaging/box weren't enough, and they wanted a separate warning printed on each single ball.

Source?

The fear was that if two or more were consumed at slightly different points in time, they could pinch the intestines together and cause damage that way.

The actual rates of these being eaten though were quite small, and they seem to have been banned because of THINK OF THE CHILDREN

Mr. Hand said,
A metal ball is too dangerous for kids these days??

For kids that are unsupervised and lack responsible parenting... Yes.

Unfortunately, rather than expect parents to parent they're children, the government must do it for them now...

Young kids will eat anything. It only takes a few seconds for a kid to palm one of these things and put it into their mouth. Parenting is not having things like this within reach of kids if you are worried about this, This isn't all the govts fault, It's just as much the lawyers. If a kid is harmed by one of these things they will spend a ton of money even if they win the case. Could this company absorb the loss? Maybe but I'm sure they don't want to take the chance.

Edited by blackjezuz, Jan 4 2014, 7:55am :

M_Lyons10 said,

For kids that are unsupervised and lack responsible parenting... Yes.

Unfortunately, rather than expect parents to parent they're children, the government must do it for them now...


When I was younger I was all gung-ho about blaming bad parenting left and right, too. Once you're surrounded by new parents, though, and the chaotic lifestyle that springs up around extremely young children, it dawns on you that--like almost everything in life--the truth isn't black and white.

Coupling that with realizing I had accepted a popular point of view that was hostile toward parents who just finished burying a toddler, I couldn't stomach it anymore and don't bother having an opinion unless I have enough information to form one first.

Go figure, we almost never have "enough information" when it comes to anything we ever read in an article or see on TV, so having opinions on the news feels more and more pointless.

Joshie said,

When I was younger I was all gung-ho about blaming bad parenting left and right, too. Once you're surrounded by new parents, though, and the chaotic lifestyle that springs up around extremely young children, it dawns on you that--like almost everything in life--the truth isn't black and white.

Coupling that with realizing I had accepted a popular point of view that was hostile toward parents who just finished burying a toddler, I couldn't stomach it anymore and don't bother having an opinion unless I have enough information to form one first.

Go figure, we almost never have "enough information" when it comes to anything we ever read in an article or see on TV, so having opinions on the news feels more and more pointless.


What on earth makes you think I don't have experience to go on?

We live in a society where, when a parent puts their child on a bed next to a detergent packet, that it's the detergent makers fault when the kid eats it... It's called common sense and responsibility...

M_Lyons10 said,

What on earth makes you think I don't have experience to go on?

We live in a society where, when a parent puts their child on a bed next to a detergent packet, that it's the detergent makers fault when the kid eats it... It's called common sense and responsibility...

Is that something that actually happened, or is that a hypothetical situation to prove a point?

Naturally, if I'm going to refrain from having an opinion without enough facts first, I'm going to refrain from *blaming* anyone, too. Besides, who the flying fark am *I* to be passing blame on events that have nothing to do with me?