Apple has recently been granted two interesting patents that give us a hint of what to expect in future versions of the iPad.
The two patents describe the features and utilities of a touch-sensitive bezel. The patents describe a bezel that is provided with touch sensors with which users may initiate various controls on the device.
For instance, users may adjust music volume, operate gaming controls, zoom-in on a map, etc. by simply touching the designated areas of the bezel. In addition to this, the device may also make more efficient use of the display screen real estate by moving the entire UI touch controls to the bezel interface.
As shown in the image below, users may be shown visual guides across the edges of the display to let users input the commands from the bezel's touch interface. As should be obvious, these controls may realign themselves when the orientation is shifted from landscape to portrait or vice versa.
In the second patent, Apple describes an "intelligent" bezel that shall be able to discount certain forms of user touch by predicting the user intent so that touches detected while holding the device are ignored and only genuine user inputs are recognized.
Apple is known to file several patents many of which do not see the light of the day and it is possible that these inventions too are not brought to fruition anytime soon. However, considering that the recently unveiled iPad has a prominent bezel that is counter to the several mock-ups presented before the unveiling, it is quite likely that we will see the technology described in the patent in future versions of iPad.
What are your thoughts on this?
[via Patently Apple]