Apple To Create Phantom Keyboards/Keypads with New Smart Device Covers?
Apple is apparently working on new smart device covers that would lend the feel of a physical keyboard or keypad to those of us who continue to demand such features on our portable Apple devices. Obviously tailored to the mobile gamers among us, the illustration showcased today by our friends at Patently Apple represents what some consider to be a significant "paradigm shift for electronic device covers."
Of the many patents and product designs Apple has toyed with in recent years, the concept of an outer cover adding a new and substantial functionality to a portable device would prove a remarkably innovative change of pace to the growing segment of mobile device accessories. It certainly sounds simple enough. And, as the patent suggests, adding iPhone or BlackBerry-comparable functionalities, for example, to the likes of an iPod could make the iPod a new device of sorts in its own right and essentially shake up the ways in which we use, experience, and enjoy our iPods.
The above smart cover design is so advanced and rich with potential that one embodiment of the product could possibly even add phone functionality to a product like the iPod, which does not presently include mobile phone functionality. Of course, while the ability to make calls from an iPod sounds cool, perhaps even more exciting to the majority of Apple gamers would be the addition a physical texting keyboard - an obviously paramount goal in the design of these smart device covers.
Last week on MMI, we covered the news that Apple is working on an iPad-suited gaming accessory designed to encase the device and provide a veritable gaming framework for the iPad - an accessory enabling both game control from the touch-screen tablet itself as well as the surface buttons and D-pad located on the hardware. Overall, Apple's efforts in the accessory realm suggest a keen awareness of consumer wants and industry needs. Consumers, after all, clearly show no indication of backing off their iProducts as mobile gaming devices. Similarly, there's no shortage of people who demand good-old-fashioned keyboards and tactile control functionalities before they finally embrace Apple products the way the rest of us have.