iDevice users have always had a thing for covers and other accessories for their Apple devices. Users have always looked at obtaining a sturdy cover or screen protector for their device without sacrificing the form factor.
One of the challenges around having a cover or screen protector for a device like iPad is that you cannot see the latest notifications when it is covered. This could soon be a thing of the past.
According to one of the latest Apple patents approved today, Apple may be trying to design a smart iPhone/iPad cover that will allow you to review your notifications without removing the cover off the device.
The new accessory device is most likely to be a flexible screen protector that can be disposed over a display portion of the iPad.
Because the flexible screen protector covers the display of the tablet there is no visual way for the tablet to provide notifications to the user while the screen protector overlays it.
By providing a data and power connection between the device and the accessory device, the processor of the iPad can use the display elements of the screen protector and show notifications.
This allows for an accessory to not only protect the display of the iPad but also provide a way for users to see their notifications without removing the covers fro their iPads. As the next generation iPad Pro’s become equipped with OLED screens and more thinner, display covers will play an important role. A smart display cover could even be more attractive to users who are using the iPad Pro as replacement devices for their Macbook.
Since the tablet accessory would be powered via the iPad, it will be hard for third party accessory makers to build and market this allowing Apple a unique opportunity to position itself in the accessory product category.
Apple has been focused on accessories for iPhone and iPad for quite some time now with its own range of products. Third party players have also found this category very lucrative and have positioned alternative covers and screen protectors providing users more choice and price options.
If Apple is able to create a unique value proposition via introducing new accessories such as these that require a tighter integration with the device, it may able to justify some of the higher prices that it often commands for premium accessories.
The patent, 9,892,602 B2 was originally filed on Sept 23, 2016 and approved today (Feb 13,2018).