Apple’s Smart Cover, the magnetic cover that sits on top of the iPad’s screen, currently suffers from being not very smart at all. However, a patent application from the company released by the U.S. Patent Application and Trademark Office (USPTO) today reveals a drastically different version — one that has a flexible secondary display.
As you can see from the photos above and below, the proposed Smart Cover would allow iPad users to view additional apps and add handwritten notes within each of cover’s vertical rows. When folded up as a stand, the smart cover is intended to provide alternate media playback controls and offer status notifications. The cover could even be used as a full keyboard or sketch pad (similar to Microsoft’s forthcoming Surface tablets), according to the images.
Here’s the official description from the patent application:
A tablet device with a flexible cover is disclosed. Thin flexible display technology can be integrated into the flexible cover without affecting the overall form factor of the cover or tablet device. Adding the integrated display to the flexible cover greatly enhances the overall functionality of the tablet device.
Data and power consumption would flow though the “seam” of the cover, which means future versions of the iPad would need to be adapted.
An enhanced Smart Cover would be a welcome addition to the iPad’s overall experience, depending on the price of course.