Apple patent filing gets us excited for potential hybrid Smart Cover/display

Last year around this time Apple filed a patent application for a flexible screen that looks like a seriously souped up Smart Cover for the iPad. Though a patent filing doesn’t mean that this product will ever come out, it’s fun to imagine the possibilities.

Display Cover Apple Patent Drawing

Flexible displays have been on the horizon for years, so it’s no surprise that Apple is at least looking at the technology. Possible features include displaying notifications or info about the media on screen or even a touchscreen keyboard. That last one will appeal to people who actually dig the on-screen keyboard the iPad offers (I have nails so it’s mostly useless to me).

One of the concepts shows the possibility of pen input, which could be a big deal for people who love to take handwritten notes. Tablets, even when thin, lift your hand off the surface too much to write comfortably. A flat-ish cover/screen would be more comfortable.

I like the idea of a secondary display. Back when two-screen devices were all the rage I was right there on the bandwagon. Too bad it fell off a cliff.

Display Cover Apple Patent Drawing

Most of those products were hybrid eReaders, and several of the flexible displays we hear about every now and then are eInk or a technology meant to emulate it. A low-power, thin, flexible display that’s also a cover that also does the laundry? Bring it.

Would you want a flexible display for your iPad? If so, what functionality do you think it should have to enhance tablet using?

Source: Mashable

  • monkeyboy88

    This is what is so ridiculous with our patent system. You should not be able to patent something unless you have a working prototype to show it in action.

    Can I apply for a patent for a device that can be implanted in the human muscle and through the use of electrical stimulus, it can make the muscles contract and thus allow a paralyzed person to move limbs again. I have not prototype and no idea how to do it, but I thought of it. Instead of human muscles, maybe a new material that can do it and this could be made into a suit that a person wears and get the same effect. Can I patent a material that has not been invented yet? Then I can just wait around and let someone else invent it, then sue them for patent infringement.

    Ridiculous! The inventor who makes a working prototype should be awarded the patent. Everyone can have the same idea. The first to make it happen should win the prize.

    • toronado455

      Maybe a distinction should be made between ideas that are feasible using current off-the-shelf technology, and ideas that would require an advance in technology and/or physics, medicine, etc.

      Because some of these patents are for things these companies *could* make now, but are just not sure if there is a market for it, and want to patent the idea first before anyone else does just in case they decide to make it.

      I don’t have the answer, but it in an interesting topic of discussion.

  • toronado455

    This looks like a potentially interesting gizmo. I think a very thin screen like that works better than the previous dual screen devices.