Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad is pretty sweet: it allows you to prop up your iPad, put it to sleep when the cover is closed and then wake it up again the next time you open the cover. You already know that, you might even own one. But what if Apple allowed you to see information from your iPad at-a-glance while it was tucked inside the cover? Maybe you want to view and change music tracks, see an email notification or a different alert without opening your case? The idea isn’t as far fetched as it might sound. In fact, Apple already has the patent.
The patent, titled “Cover Attachment with Flexible Display” describes a case with a flexible touchscreen AMOLED display that can show status messages, movie and music controls and more. Apple said the device could possibly include its own battery: a smart decision so that users don’t drain their iPads by using it. Better yet, Apple imagines that a solar panel could actually be implemented to charge the battery on the go. Apple also describes an inductive charging method in the patent, which, in other words, is a wireless way to charge the device. So, like Duracell or any number of battery makers that offer similar products, the case could charge on some sort of station without the need for its own plug.
In one case, Apple even shows a drawing where a user could use the tablet as an input medium. The image (in our gallery below) shows a user using the case as a stylus trackpad. Artists, are you drooling yet?
The filing is extensive: no surprise, Apple obviously wants its cases to absolutely demolish any product that Microsoft or its competitors can think of. Microsoft, for example, recently announced covers for its Surface tablets with features that resemble those of the Smart Cover.
iPad Mini? I think we’re more excited for this.