Apple Researching iPad Smart Covers with Secondary Displays, Keyboards, Solar Cells

Engadget points to a newly-filed patent application from Apple showing ideas for a significantly enhanced iPad Smart Cover that could contain such features as a secondary display, a keyboard, and power collectors in the form of solar cells or RF energy antennas.

An accessory device that is arranged to communicate with a host device by way of a communication channel is claimed. The host device includes a host device display arranged to present visual information. The accessory device includes the following: a flexible flap having a size and shape in accordance with the host device display, where at least a portion of the flexible flap is covered by a flap display configured to present visual information; and a connecting portion, the connecting portion arranged to provide at least a communication channel arranged to convey information between the host device and the accessory device where at least some of the information is presented visually on the flap display.

ipad smart cover status
In one example, Apple shows how secondary displays integrated into the Smart Cover could offer a mini home screen alongside the primary screen or be used to display information to others while folded into its stand configuration. The displays could draw power and transmit data from a connector alongside the Smart Cover hinge or rely on embedded solar cells or RF energy antennas for power needs.

ipad smart cover display solar
Apple also proposes to use the Smart Cover's surface as a keyboard with a touch section for customizable virtual keys. The keyboard is in some ways similar to the cover keyboard Microsoft has demonstrated for its upcoming Surface tablet.

ipad smart cover keyboard
Finally, Apple shows how embedded e-paper displays on the exterior of the Smart Cover could offer information such as notifications and reminders without requiring the user to open the cover and turn on the device. Apple could also integrate a section that would allow users to quickly scribble their own notes on the cover.

ipad smart cover notes
The patent application was filed in August 2011 and is credited to Apple design engineer Fletcher Rothkopf, who now serves as a manager in the company's product design division.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

azentropy Avatar
117 months ago
[url=https://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png]Image (https://www.macrumors.com/2012/08/02/apple-researching-ipad-smart-covers-with-secondary-displays-keyboards-solar-cells/)[/url]


Engadget points (http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/02/apple-smart-cover-display-patent-application/) to a newly-filed patent application (http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220120194448%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20120194448&RS=DN/20120194448) from Apple showing ideas for a significantly enhanced iPad Smart Cover that could contain such features as a secondary display, a keyboard, and power collectors in the form of solar cells or RF energy antennas.Image (https://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/08/ipad_smart_cover_status.jpg)


In one example, Apple shows how secondary displays integrated into the Smart Cover could offer a mini home screen alongside the primary screen or be used to display information to others while folded into its stand configuration. The displays could draw power and transmit data from a connector alongside the Smart Cover hinge or rely on embedded solar cells or RF energy antennas for power needs.

Image (https://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/08/ipad_smart_cover_display_solar.jpg)


Apple also proposes to use the Smart Cover's surface as a keyboard with a touch section for customizable virtual keys. The keyboard is in some ways similar to the cover keyboard Microsoft has demonstrated for its upcoming Surface tablet (http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/about.aspx).

Image (https://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/08/ipad_smart_cover_keyboard.jpg)


Finally, Apple shows how embedded e-paper displays on the exterior of the Smart Cover could offer information such as notifications and reminders without requiring the user to open the cover and turn on the device. Apple could also integrate a section that would allow users to quickly scribble their own notes on the cover.

Image (https://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/08/ipad_smart_cover_notes.jpg)


The patent application was filed in August 2011 and is credited to Apple design engineer Fletcher Rothkopf, who now serves as a manager in the company's product design division.

Article Link: Apple Researching iPad Smart Covers with Secondary Displays, Keyboards, Solar Cells (https://www.macrumors.com/2012/08/02/apple-researching-ipad-smart-covers-with-secondary-displays-keyboards-solar-cells/)

Cool. Then I'll need a smart cover to protect my smart cover!
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djrod Avatar
117 months ago
The reminder "Don't forget to call Steve back after launch" is a bit sad :(
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notjustjay Avatar
117 months ago
Before anyone whines about how the Surface has a cover with a keyboard, from everything I've seen, that cover doesn't fold into the triangle - it stays flat.

Now I'm curious to know who patented the "keyboard in a cover" idea first.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shawnwich Avatar
117 months ago
I really hope this comes out for the iPad3 and does not eventually get released as an iPad 4 only item.


They're talking about transmitting data through the smart cover hinge - from the breakdowns and exterior of the new iPad, it's pretty clear there is nothing there to transmit data through that hinge.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peace Avatar
117 months ago
Well this will keep the lawyers busy in a couple of years.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattymo Avatar
117 months ago
OH NOES!!! STEVE JOBS NEVER WOULD HAVE APPROVED THIS!!???1111


/sarcasm
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...