The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to Apple for a case for the iPad that could interact with the tablet's apps to perform tasks such as displaying notifications through the smart cover.
(Photo : USPTO)
The next iPad that Apple will release could feature a smart cover that comes with secondary displays, as revealed by a patent that was recently granted to the company.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) awarded a patent to Apple for a case for the iPad that could interact with the tablet's apps to perform tasks such as displaying notifications through the smart cover, among other things.
The cover, describedÂ in the patent, which would add functionality and usefulness to the iPad's accessories, looks similar to the covers being used for the device now but features several panels that could show the notifications and widgets.
The patent application adds that the notifications and widgets would be displayed on the cover of the iPad so that users would no longer have to open it to do tasks, such as checking emails and reading calendar alerts.
An interesting part of the patent is how the cover is described to be able to work with the apps of the iPad even while the device is being used. For example, with the case serving as a kickstand, the cover can be configured to display a countdown timer. The panels of the case will light up at the beginning of the countdown, which would slowly dim as time passes.
The idea is not an entirely new one. HTC has Dot View covers out on the market that is able to display notifications from the smartphones of users. Samsung also has S View covers that provide users with access to a limited portion of a device's screen while most of the display is covered.
However, as Business InsiderÂ notes, it is important to remember that most of the products being described in patent applications by Apple do not get released to the market. Even if the concepts are released to the public, the final products have often undergone significant changes compared to the patent filed by the company.
Apple's experiments on adding more functionality to the standard covers of iPads is interesting though, since the feature could have broad applications on various kinds of apps and could also lead to the development of new ones.