back to article Apple plans extended iPad display through 'Smart Covers'

Apple envisions iPad cases with flexible displays that expand functionality into the tablet's protective sleeve, recently publicised patent applications reveal. Apple patent application for Smart Covers The suggested Smart Cover, which draws power and data from a connector on one side of the slate, could be used to display a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple trying to patent the bleedin obvious again!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple are patenting bleedin Obviously! ? Good. We certainly wouldn't want copies of him!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This looks

      This looks like a very interesting 'surface' cover.

      Hope Microsoft got their patent in early......


  2. ScottME

    Just imagine the accessory potential

    If this ever makes it to a product, I predict there will be a ready market for screen protector protectors.

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      Re: Just imagine the accessory potential

      I already know someone who has a ten-pound plastic screen protecting film over her 'glass' screen protector (which cost something like sixty quid).

  3. Velv


    There is NOTHING new or innovative about what has been described - everything here is already possible, and it is simply applying existing designs and technologies to an Apple platform. There are devices with opening covers that show different screens (Didn't the RAZR have that, what about Nintento consoles with two screens), there are touch screens (I've got a Leather A4 folio that captures writing on one side to display on the screen on another).

    So I haven't bothered my arse to go and read the full application, and there may be something "new and unique", however all this is likely to generate is lawyer revenue.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh right, there are so many devices out there using flexible display covers.

      1. The BigYin


        There is a difference between holding a patent on whatever trickery that allows one to manufacture a flexible display (and there may be multiple solutions, so multiple patents with competing holders), and quite another on holding a patent on simply using a flexible display.

        Once you have the flexi-tech, using it on a cover is rather obvious.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Sony's smart watch acts as a remote control to an Android phone via bluetooth. This is one example of prior art of a separate device which augments the main display. It's not the only one of course by a long stretch.

        I don't see anything novel about putting the display into a cover. More importantly I don't see much point either.

        1. The BigYin


          Having some data on the cover might be handy (esp. if low/bo power e-ink type stuff). But then that has been done too, hasn't it? Think of the flip phones with a second screens etc.

          Apple could copyright this design, sure, but patent?

          No. Not IMHO.

          1. Lord Voldemortgage


            Yes, e-ink would be something well worth considering for a cover - has been discussed elsewhere on El Reg, I believe.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @DrXym

            Your "HO" seems not to have heard of design patents.

  4. eSeM

    Perfect Way

    To milk the iTwats for more money .....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perfect Way

      and promptly copied by others to bleed the hemorrDroids.

  5. MikeyD85

    They'll be in court

    Suing Nintendo soon then... DS is a blatant rip-off of this idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: They'll be in court

      Absolutely, you can even detach the screen on the DS...

      If you have a hammer and a chisel that is.

  6. Crisp

    That's a Nintendo DS!

    That other picture looks like an Asus Transformer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's a Nintendo DS!

      Agreed about the Asus Transformer comment (Also their Slider tablet, too, among others from Asus and other companies). Another big joke if this is granted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's a Nintendo DS!

        Absolutely, apart from the fact The Transformer is a screen with a detachable keyboard and the diagram is a screen with another detachable screen. Maybe you should read the words and not just look at the pictures?

  7. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down


    Didn't Microsoft have an tech demo of a double sided tablet (book like). How exactly is this different?

    1. Dan Price

      Re: Microsoft

      They did, it was called the Courier and looked like an amazing piece of kit.

      Ballmer killed it because it wasn't sufficiently windowsy.

      Fail for MS' usual unerring ability to shoot themselves in the foot.

      1. Jean-Paul

        Re: Microsoft

        I agree, I was really hoping at the time that the Courier would be launched and unfortunately it didn't. This would be a fantastic add on to an iPad....

        Loving all the armchair patent experts on here thinking they can determine the outcome. Perhaps if they know it so well, they should apply to get a job at the patent office. No? Indeed, didn't think so either...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Casio Fx411

    Welcome to the 1980's

  9. Parallel_Monogamist

    Vista memories...

    What was that notifications thing on Vista again? (I've got it on my Toshiba R400).

    Utterly crap it was, but seems pretty similar to this.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Vista memories...

      Sideshow it was called. But people were soon to get always-connected big-screen smartphones that could do more than anything they might want a 2.5" screen on a laptop's lid to do.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What will Apple patent next?

    Air? Water?

    1. craigj

      Re: What will Apple patent next?

      Nah, Adobe already patented Air.

  11. Parallel_Monogamist

    Then again...

    Vista thing was notifications only.

    Should have read beyond the 1st graphic, I guess. ;-)

  12. Richard 81

    I really should start sending all *my* idle doodles to the patent office too.

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    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Big_Ted

    Lets see now.......

    Bigger battery to power cover adding thickness and weight to iPad.........check

    Thick cover to incorperate display tech keyboard etc adding even more thickness........check

    Create a completely new non breakable and scratch proof bendy screen........on to do list

    Bring to market the all new super iPad, bigger, heavyer more breakable parts for loads more money......nah, just buy a surface instead.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Lets see now.......

      15. The method of claim 14, the method further comprising: wirelessly powering the flexible accessory device, wherein the host device provides the power.

      There's not necessarily a battery in this.

  15. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    I can't wait to buy a knitted apple laptop

  16. mattrules161

    This looks a lot like...

    The sony tablet P.

  17. cs94njw

    "- or even if it'll be awarded the patents it has requested - "

    Huh? The one thing we can *guarentee* is that they'll be awarded the patent.

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