updated 11:00 pm EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Add-on would allow for hanging, standing, other uses
Among the many patents and trademarks Apple routinely receives each week, the company has been awarded a patent for a "Magnetic Stand for Tablet Device," a new accessory for the iPad that many think could come to market. The stand would use magnets to secure the iPad in place so tightly that it could even be hung upside-down, and even presents the intriguing idea of two iPads being "docked" together, similar to Microsoft's aborted "Courier" tablet concept. The stand would allow the iPad to be attached "almost anywhere," according to the filing.
Examples shown or listed in the patent include securing the iPad to a music stand (with the iPad "listening" so that it can "turn the page" of the music as required), mounted atop a treadmill to allow runners to watch content or interact with the device, mounted on a tripod for viewing or filming, attached to the interior roof of a car to create a viewable screen for passengers, and even attached to another iPad to form a book-like sharing connection, reports AppleInsider. Actions could be associated with the joining of the tablet to the stand, such as activation of specific programs.
Other ideas discussed in the filing include use in restaurants for menu systems, and allow for physical attachment of things like game controllers and physical keyboards. The ability to attach two iPads together could be set to turn one of them into a full-screen keyboard automatically. The patent was originally filed with the USPTO in August of 2011, and is credited to Matthew D. Rohrbach.