Apple is working on — or at least considering — a multi-purpose stand for the iPhone and iPad that could be used in a variety of situations and locations. The invention is described in a newly granted Apple patent — although the company has been granted many patents for inventions that never see the light of day.
The patent (number 9,163,775) is for a “magnetic stand for an electronic device.” Among other things, it would offer a magnetic mount for releasably securing a tablet device to a vehicle console. The mount/stand would pack a sensor that senses that the iOS device is secured to it, causing the iPhone or iPad to automatically interact with the motor vehicle in a wireless mode.
Apple’s patent also describes other scenarios in which the stand would be used. Examples include: allowing a restaurant to allow an iOS device to display a menu; allowing a photographer or videographer to use it for reviewing photos or video as they’re taken; used by a musician as a music stand; and more.
Interestingly, the invention also allows two iPads to be coupled together magnetically to work together. The cooperation can occur over a wireless channel, or the tablets can be configured to include a wired connector, allowing communication to run through a wire that runs between the devices and the connector. Once a communication channel is established the iPads could work together to allow activities like book reading or even be configured in more of a laptop arrangement.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “The magnetic stand is configured to rigidly hold a portion of the tablet device in place and to shield the magnetic field from adversely affecting nearby devices susceptible to strong magnetic fields. The shielding portion of the magnetic stand allows for significant increases in magnetic field strength when compared to similarly configured, unshielded products.”