Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,712,777) for a magnetic attachment system that would not only allow iPads to connect to keyboards such as the Magic Keyboard, but also car mounts, exercise device mounts, and more. It would also allow two of the tablets to work in tandem.
In the patent info, Apple says that handheld computing devices such as iPads can be configured in such a way that a substantial portion of the device takes the form of a display used for presenting visual content, leaving little available space for an attachment mechanism that can be used for attaching an accessory device.
The tech giant says that conventional attachment techniques generally rely upon mechanical fasteners that typically require at least an externally accessible attaching feature on the electronic device to mate with a corresponding attaching feature on the accessory device. Apple says the presence of the external attaching feature can detract from the overall look and feel of the handheld computing device as well as add unwanted weight and complexity as well as degrade the appearance of the hand held computing device.
The company says a mechanism for releasably attaching together at least two objects is desired. The two objects could be two iPads, an iPad attached to a car mount, an iPad attached to a treadmill, and more.
The patent also involves the use of a docking station includes at least a base portion arranged to provide support for a host device, the base portion includes an attachment unit, the attachment unit arranged to detachably secure the host device and the base portion. The docking station provides one way two iPads could work in tandem.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A magnetic attachment mechanism and method is described. The magnetic attachment mechanism can be used to releasably attach at least two objects together in a preferred configuration without fasteners and without external intervention. The magnetic attachment mechanism can be used to releasably attach an accessory device to an electronic device. The accessory device can be used to augment the functionality of usefulness of the electronic device.”