The iPad could soon experience magnetic attraction. The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published a patent titled Magnetic Attachment Unit, which is described as an expansion to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s current iPad magnet system.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s idea starts with a key magnetic structure embedded in the tablet’s chassis, which is similar to the device’s current implementation. A specific arrangement of magnets make it easy to add on accessories which are optimally positioned repeatedly.
The magnetic patent’s capabilities
This patent would allow the iPad to hook up with docks, cameras, touchpads, stands, even other iPad tablets. This accessory would allow users to connect their iPads with another accessory without having to use the dock connector. These accessories could connect to any side of the tablet and it could attach to compatible docks/stands. And because iOS would support the technology, users could simply attach or detach the accessory with a simple press of the home button.
The possibilities for this technology are rather exciting. If two iPad tablets can be hooked up, content from one screen could expand to the other screen. Users could also turn both tablets into a “laptop” with one iPad being used as a virtual keyboard. The patent filing also mentions a magnetic ring that would allow the user to swipe their hand over the screen just to active certain features.
Apple: Exciting magnetic accessories around the horizon
Another possibility involves custom-built accessories which augment usability of tablet. One example of this involves a magnetically attached stylus holder that sends a signal to the iPad to activate special stylus recognition mode. When the attachment is released, the tablet goes back to original mode.
It would be great if the technology described in the patent made it’s way to fruition, but there is always that possibility it won’t appear in the real world. Apple already uses smart magnets in their iPad covers so there is still a strong possibility Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could use these magnets for other accessories.