By Pooja Drubra | Aug 05, 2012 01:08 PM EDT
Apple is trying to bring in some novelty in its products now. The iOS giant has applied to patent a Smart Cover for iPad that comprises an embedded secondary display. This Smart Cover would use a connector on the side of the iPad, which would help supplying power and data to the cover.
As per the recent patent application made public by the USPTO, Apple believes that it is possible to fabricate a flexible display into an iPad cover, which will greatly enhance the tablet's functionality.
Using the Smart Cover, the main display can be augmented with space for extra icons and can even function as a separate media control interface or merely display notifications. What's more, Apple is also proposing to use the Smart Cover's surface as a keyboard with a touch section for virtual keys. The keyboard would somehow resemble the cover keyboard that Microsoft had showcased for its upcoming Surface tablet.
There are various embedded e-paper displays on the exterior of the Smart Cover that could offer information like notifications, without the user's need to turn on the device. In addition to this, Apple also plans to integrate a section for users to jot down notes on the Smart Cover. One of its exciting features is the built-in AMOLED display that's fabricated with thin, polyimide substrate that helps extending the iPad display.
The patent states "The addition of cover display ameliorates the limited screen area problem and makes a number of tasks significantly easier, in some cases functioning as an extended desktop." To connect to the tablet, the cover would use a wireless or wired data connection and will even use other ports like DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, DVI and Thunderbolt. The custom MagSafe connector would allow the cover to extract power from the iPad. The cover would also include a small battery for support. There are various alternatives also available in terms of RF antennas and solar panels.
The patent document states "First, this configuration gives the user an experience much closer to the one enjoyed by laptop users. Second, by allowing the user to easily view the screen and by providing a convenient surface to type on, tasks such as word processing and email become much more efficient."
The Smart Cover patent application was filed a year back by Apple and its design engineer Fletcher Rothkopf.
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