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Most people know that Apple is granted far, far more in the way of patents, than the company actually produces in the form of commercialized products. However, the newest patent Apple has been granted depicts an iPad Smart Cover that’s, well, smarter than ever before — and actually carries with it a bit more validity and viability than some of the other patents we’ve seen in recent times.
The patent, which was awarded to the Silicon Valley iPad-maker just yesterday, depicts an iPad Smart Cover that also doubles as an immersive, interactive utility. In this, we mean that the cover features the apparent incorporation of not only a built-in display of its own, but also a sketchpad — which operates primarily akin to a Wacom-style stylus drawing pad.
The images in the patent filing illustrate a number of unique ways the smartest Smart Cover ever could be used — from the simple extension of iPad’s existing LCD display, to even text-only displays of certain elements, such as reminders, and even a touch pad for controlling the iPad itself. As you can see from the images, the display even appears to act as a sort of input device, as well — allowing for hand-written text input and sketch renderings, which could be transferred from the Smart Cover to the iPad.
There are, of course, a few variables that give this patent a bit more credibility — although, as we mentioned, it’s always hard to tell what patents granted Apple will ultimately see their way into new and innovative products. For starters, such a display, as you might imagine, would more than likely require a power source to function properly.
Well yes, and, as we know, both Apple’s 12.9- and 9.7-inch iPad Pro “just so happen” to feature the Cupertino-company’s new Smart Connector. So that could likely be a power source for such an accessory as this — especially seeing as how, when Apple created the Smart Connector, it openly admitted that the utility would one day serve a greater purpose than simply powering the Smart Keyboard that was introduced alongside the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last November.
It also appears that the cover is equipped with a form of solar panel — which could possibly help power the iPad in some capacity, when it’s off of the USB charger and exposed to sunlight.
By far the most sophisticated feature of Apple’s smartest Smart Cover concept, however, is depicted in the images that illustrate the cover acting as a Wacom-style drawing pad — which, in practice, could potentially incorporate functionality between the cover and Apple’s Pencil.
Apple had the following to say within the patent filing, although it appears the company might have forgotten about its recently introduced, and not so portable, 12.9-inch iPad Pro:
“Increasing the display area could lead to a significant expansion in functionality. Unfortunately, since displays already dominate a majority of one side of tablet devices, device manufacturers generally choose between making the display, and therefore, the device itself, larger, thereby reducing the portability or making the device and display smaller with the result of a less functional device. Neither solution is desirable; therefore a way to extend the usability and functionality of a tablet device without making it any larger is desired.”
Still, it’ll definitely be interesting to see what, if anything, ultimately comes from this unique new patent, don’t you think?
Which feature do you like most? Solar power? Sketchpad? Display?
Let us know in the comments!
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]