14.02.20-SmartCoverWhile there are many third-party covers and cases for the iPad which are sometimes priced cheaper, there are some out there who still prefer Apple’s Smart Cover or Smart Cases. In terms of protection, we wouldn’t exactly call it robust but it gets the job done. That being said, could Apple expand on the use of Smart Covers in the future that goes beyond just protecting the screens of our tablets? Perhaps, thanks to the folks at AppleInsider who have discovered a patent filed by Apple that describes a Smart Cover accessory that will offer up more functionality than before.

As you know, the Smart Cover comes with magnets inside that when aligned with the magnets inside the iPad, will either turn the tablet’s screen on or off. However the patent suggests that Apple could use keyed magnetic structures in the chassis of the iPad itself, which would then allow the tablet to “hold” onto devices like gaming controllers, credit card readers, detachable keyboards, and even the possibility of attaching to another iPad which could then be used as a dual-display setup! The patent also talks about smart magnets which will require a ring to be used to activate it. The ring, worn on the finger of the user, can be used to perform gesture based commands without having to actually touch the iPad itself. Of course there’s no telling if Apple will ever turn this patent into a reality, but it sure does sound like a nifty idea.

Filed in Apple. Read more about Patent.

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