Apple has filed for a new patent related to iPad smart bezels. The idea is to transform the bezels on its tablet into areas that are capable of recognizing touch input, thus extending the range of functions and gestures available to users. This would certainly make the bezels much useful, though in the filing indicates that the tablets will have larger bezels. The iPads have had larger bezels in the part, but in recent models Apple has made them thinner. Either it would find a way to make this functionality work with significantly thinner bezels, or this is going to be one of those patented technologies that never see the light of day.
The way iPad smart bezels would work will be through force sensors placed at corners of the back bezels. Sensors located along the lengths will measure pressure as well as location of the touch input so as to make the tablet respond accordingly. This patent was originally filed with the USPTO in the third quarter of 2012 and it is yet to be awarded to Cupertino. It is obviously too soon to say if smart bezels will make their way into the next generation iPad, perhaps it won’t ever be brought to light, just like the stylus that Apple has already patented.