The future iPads may ditch the few physical buttons they do have, with Apple looking into new ways of interacting with the devices. Their patents have explored pressure input, holograms and gestures, but today we analyze a new Smart Cover.


They want to allow quick access to the slate’s controls based on the position of the iPads’ Smart Cover, or so shows a patent application published this week by the USPTO. The application details a method through which users can access information on the iPad by partially opening up the Smart Cover. This means the tablet can interpret light gestures, that can also be used to change settings.

The device’s ease of use increases by not requiring the user to unlock the device, while still having access to certain info, apps or resources. If you fold away, a part of the Smart Cover, like a third or fourth of it, you’ll see notifications, the audio player, or a bit of an email. You can also access a peek mode and adjust the tablet’s brightness or other settings.

Other options are playing video games in full screen mode with an open Smart Cover and reducing the screen estate while keeping the app, while the Smart Cover is placed on the screen.