Since even the Apple Watch bands are ready to become smart, why not also make an iPad cover or two smarter? That may happen via an optical bar code element and other tweaks that may be added, as shown by the patents below.
This patent actually dates from back in 2013, when it was revealed that an Apple Smart Cover for the iPad could get extra features. Proposed Smart Cover features included inductive charging, solar panels and even flexible displays. The freshly discovered patents have to do with physical soft control buttons, added to the Smart covers, so the users could control their iTunes volume or fast forward the content they play.
Capacitive elements are shown in the documents, plus an optical bar code of sorts. That one can store information upon the spacing, size and electrical properties of each capacitive element. I find it puzzling that Motorola is moving so fast with those modules for the Moto Z and Apple can’t get a grip and organize some hackatons to come up with amazing iPad Covers.
I mean come on, the community is rooting for you!