“On August 2, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a mind boggling patent application from Apple that reveals features that they’re considering for their next generation Smart Cover,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.
“This is obviously a master patent that could play out in several stages and/or in different Smart Cover configurations depending on the user’s priorities,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s future Smart Cover could include interactive Multi-Touch panels or a secondary display and/or other features that include the use of solar panels, inductive charging, smart pen input and believe it or not, much more.”
Purcher reports, “Apple’s patent application was originally filed in Q3 2011 by the inventor Fletcher Rothkopf and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.”
MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft, forever behind Apple.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Dear Executive Secretary for Steve Ballmer: DUCK!
Valve co-founder Newell: ‘Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space’ – July 26, 2012
Ballmer: Uh, yeah, ‘Surface is just a design point,’ you know – July 10, 2012
Microsoft’s Buffoon, er… Ballmer throws down gauntlet against Apple – July 10, 2012
Microsoft reportedly dumps ‘VaporMg’ chassis, will use ‘VaporMg’ only as ‘surface treatment’ – July 9, 2012
Microsoft’s downfall: Inside the executive e-mails and cannibalistic culture that fueled Microsoft’s lost decade – July 7, 2012
HP said to dump Microsoft over Surface; to cozy up to Google Android for tablet efforts – July 2, 2012
Bad news for Microsoft’s iPad killer? – July 2, 2012
Dear Microsoft, Steve Balmer and Bill Gates: What is up with your obsession with keyboards? – June 28, 2012
Jason Schwarz: Top 10 reasons why Microsoft’s Surface is DOA – June 22, 2012
Why I love Microsoft’s vaporware Surface tablet – June 22, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet said to be Wi-Fi only at launch; no 4G, no 3G, no 2G, not even 1G – June 22, 2012
Microsoft outsources Surface assembly to Pegatron; prices above $799 for Windows 8, above $599 for Windows RT expected – June 21, 2012
Acer founder: Microsoft will quit making tablets soon – June 21, 2012
Devastating video shows Microsoft’s Surface event aping Steve Jobs’ iPad unveiling (with video) – June 20, 2012
Thanks to Apple, Microsoft is doomed in the era of mobile computing – June 20, 2012
Why wouldn’t Microsoft let anyone touch its Surface tablets’ keyboard cover? – June 20, 2012
The cost of Microsoft’s Surface tablets – June 20, 2012
Apple’s revolutionary iPad vs. Microsoft’s anti-tablet ‘Surface’ – June 20, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablets provokes ‘sense of betrayal’ among Windows PC assemblers – June 20, 2012
Fox News: Copier Microsoft is doomed to fail with Surface tablet – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet destined to be as successful as the Zune – June 19, 2012
Surface: Why Microsoft’s big mystery turns out to be a big mistake – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Suicide, er… ‘Surface’ – June 19, 2012
ZDNet Sr. Tech Editor Perlow: Microsoft’s Surface has catastrophe written all over it – June 19, 2012
Microsoft previews own ‘Surface’ tablet – June 18, 2012
Microsoft touts ‘major’ June 18 event said to showcase Windows RT tablets – June 15, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011
They’ll have to redesign the Surface tablet to look more like a Zune now. Does it come in brown?
Paging Surface Tang, come in Surface Tang….
Why do Asus laptops come in brown also? Hell, I’ve seen people with brown desktop pics on their Macs. Unbelievably s****y taste!
It looks like Apple has just scratched the Surface!
So a hundred engineers couldn’t figure out how to prop up the tablet without a kickstand?
No. They were bicycle engineers in their prior life.
I absolutely love this patent filing. And, oh the timing of this in connection to Msft’s surface announcement. Who had the patent first? This should be interesting.
I like the idea of the RF energy harvesting process feeding energy to a micro battery to keep the cover display charged is great thinking. There’s a lot of great ideas for future smart covers.
Which ideas Apple will implement first will be interesting to see unfold. With Msft on their trail I hope that they move quickly on some of these ideas.
It says it was originally filed in Q3 2011, making it’s filing ~9 months previous to MSFT showing (non working, mind you, the keyboard covers appeared to be no more than mockups ) development prototypes of a tablet design at the press conference.
If MSFT spotted apple’s patent application would 9 Mos be enough to make a non working mockup? You bet it would have.
Hell, even 9 weeks would have been more than enough to mockup up the non-functional keyboard covers they showed.
The smart cover is a pretty neat design breakthrough, and we have probably only just scratched the surface. There’s a reason why Ive thinks the stuff he’s working on now is the most important he’s ever done. We shall find out soon enough when it’s done and ready to be unleashed.
Ok, I am an academic. So I feel a bit sheepish about my instinctive response to the bit of news. But here goes: DAMNNNNNNN! Now that’s what you call a smart cover.
“Don’t forget to call Steve back after launch”
My heart burst in tears when I read that line…. Remind us Steve was still around when they filed this patent…
I feel you
I’ll never get over losing my parents, of course… But I’ll never get over losing my heroes- John Lennon, Steve Jobs… You have to work very, very hard to even approach filling those voids.
The title on that page is, “Outside Surface Display Possibilities’.
Heres what happened when Steve Ballmer and Steve Sinofsky (think thats his name) first saw this when they were digging around Apple patent applications:
SS: Hey look at this, shouldn’t that say , “Outside iPad Display Possibilities’ instead of “Outside Surface Display Possibilities”?
SB: No, I think thats their next generation of iPad….they are going to call it “Surface” kind of like they called their notebooks “Air”.
Quick rig up some non working look alike and announce it as MS Surface.
I wouldn’t be too happy. It looks like apple and m$ are on the same boat patent wise so it might be part of their cross agreement. I believe of course the proud CEO aka monkey boy would never admit this was an Apple patent.
Once again a poor use of the loosely guarded Patent Office which seems like they would Patent just about anything. The war of the Productive Pads will not be won via fancy keyboards and covers but it will be won by the OS and it’s ability to be fully integrated into the workplace.
This could be iOS, maybe OS X for tablets, Windows 8 or maybe even Ubuntu which I believe Google has shown a serious interest in since about 2009.
Don’t Apple and Microsoft have a patent cross licence agreement?
For select patents.
I doubt this is included. This isn’t a patent, yet – it’s an APPLICATION.
Now we know why Microsoft quickly announced their Surface tablet way before it was ever ready to ship. Microsoft must have caught wind of this patent and wanted to make it look like they were first.
$5 says MS pulls some BS stunt saying
“they filed for the patent years ago.. and were denied, but Apple clearly stole the patent and has Apple staff working for the US Patent office”
or something similar..
and the MS freaks will agree, and bash Apple. lol
Well, Microsoft had to get their ideas from somewhere, right?
They can’t catch up to Apple by copying existing iPads, because Apple is innovating too quickly, so they had to scan patent applications to keep the Redmond Photocopiers busy.
Wow this is bad news for Microsoft, especially given monkey CEO is building ms stores are a rapid rate, and this surface would be their crown jewel. 😜😍
Apart from having a keyboard in a cover, the designs are quite different. It appears that either the apple keyboard faces out when folded closed or hugs the back of the device. Quite a bit different rom the surface keyboard.