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A new patent application published on the US Patent and Trademark Office website today brings to light a new piece of tech that Apple could be working on for its family of tablets. More specifically, the patent details magnets (similar to Smart Covers) that would allow you to attach accessories magnetically to your iPad: cameras, controllers, and even other iPads.

The types of accessories the patent details include speaker docks, trackpads and keyboards, drawing tablets, radio wave antennas, cameras, controllers and card readers. Heck, there’s even a bit in there about linking two iPads together.

This could be a solution Apple is hoping to use as an alternative to technologies like Bluetooth, or line-in connections (which has been used for accessories like card readers in the past).

Flexibility appears to be the name of the game for this magnet system, as it not only could support various dash mounts for vehicles and treadmills, but could also be electromagnetic in nature, meaning it could be controlled by the operating system (iOS), and capable of transmitting power and data.

Finally, the article also mentions wearable tech, and how it could be built to interface with this type of tech. TechCrunch approximates that this could be something like a watch or ring, that when worn, could be used as identification when swiping to unlock the device.

What Apple has plans to do (if any) with this tech remains to be seen. But if we were to guess, we’d say it’d be to expand the usefulness of the iPad as a mobile computing platform, in the same way that accessories have done for the device in the past.

But this time, with magnets.


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