“According to patent records, Apple has been dreaming and working on the smart bezel since 2005 – which actually predates the iPhone,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“In 2010, the smart bezel project began to gather some real steam and today the project takes an interesting twist. The difference this time around, is that touch zones aren’t being limited to just the bezel,” Purcher reports. “Apple is considering the use of touch zones on any surface that makes sense for a given application, be it the iBook or video games. It could equally be applied to an iPad or a television.”

Purcher reports, “Now that Apple has proven that touch zones actually work by releasing their Magic Trackpad into the market in 2010, Apple seems to now think that it’s time to advance this technology to iOS devices. When you add this specific patent to the other great inventions published today covering coded magnet applications and a new 3D GUI option, it’s clear that Apple has some definite plans of taking iOS devices to the next level in the coming years.”

Much more in the full article, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, here.