Apple patent points to thin Smart Cover-like accessory that turns iPhones and iPads into laptops

An Apple patent filed last Thursday, hints at a modular take on computing where your iPhone or iPad becomes the brains of an otherwise dead, laptop. The patent filing points to a thin portable hardware dock-like laptop accessory that packs in the components needed to turn your iPhone or iPad into a full-fledged computing device.

The news comes from AppleInsider, where the blog points to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing for an "electronic accessory device" that comes in various configurations.

From what can be seen in IP, it shows two use cases for the device. Starting with the device itself, it basically adds the missing bits that are needed to turn the iPhone or iPad into full computing machines, that would be similar to the concept behind the Motorola Atrix and the Asus PadFone.

Image: USPTO

Image: USPTO

In the first design which uses the iPhone as the brains, the smartphone can be placed into the area that is usually allotted for the trackpad. Once placed into the slot, the iPhone will breath life into the accessory and will not get a trackpad (iPhone's display), a physical keyboard and a large display to work with.

Image: USPTO

Image: USPTO

In the second design which uses an iPad, the iPad fits into the display area of the laptop accessory. The accessory in this use case, gives the iPad a pointing tool, with a built-in track, a physical keyboard, with the iPad adding the brains and a touch screen display as well.

The accessory will still be powered by iOS and other designs also allow for addition of memory (storage) GPU (additional processing power) and more that would be built into the base portion of this accessory.

Indeed, the new accessory will add the one thing that has been missed on an iPad for long, a pointing tool. With this it is also easy to say that future versions of iOS could allow for a pointer once the iPhone or iPad is attached to this accessory.


Published Date: Mar 27, 2017 09:50 am | Updated Date: Mar 27, 2017 09:50 am