Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,839,147) for a magnetic stand with a removable tripod for the iPad. The stand is configured to rigidly hold a portion of the tablet in place, to shield the magnetic field from adversely affecting nearby devices susceptible to strong magnetic fields, and to allow two iPads to work together.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that tablets are increasing used in a wide variety of applications. The tech giant says “a number of manufacturers” have tried unsuccessfully to produce a way for conveniently mounting such a device. Not surprisingly, Apple thinks it can.
Apple’s invention would allow an iPad to be used by a photographer or videographer for reviewing photos or video as they’re taken. A wireless transmitter can send data between the camera and the tablet device via a Wi-Fi signal, Bluetooth protocol, or even through an alternative signal received by a wireless receiver attached to the tablet device.
In this way a light and portable secondary display can be easily configured for reviewing and displaying products without having to bring along a larger laptop or desktop computer.
This configuration can also be useful at a restaurant table allowing specials to be displayed; customers could then touch the displayed special, and then receive more information. If the iPad were also configured to accept orders the customers might decide to remove the device and enter further details such as table location or payment means into the tablet device.
The tablet holder/stand could be used to support a music stand used to display sheet music on tablet screen. In this way, the strong magnetic connection between the tablet and the tablet holder would allow for a musician to quickly swipe the screen when page turns are required, without having to worry about the possibility of knocking it off its support.
A more advanced software configuration can allow the iPad to turn the pages for the musician at appropriate points in the song. Another software implementation can allow the music to be advanced line by line. In another implementation a conductor can even wirelessly adjust the flow of the music played by a band with another stand mounted tablet, allowing the band to quickly adapt to last minute changes in a musical program.
One of the most interesting embodiments of the tablet holder allows the tripod to removed and two iPad secured together by a hinge. This sounds like an interesting use of the under-utilized Smart Connector.
In this configuration the tablets can be configured to work together cooperatively. The cooperation can occur over a wireless channel, or the tablet devices can be configured to include a wired connector (not shown) allowing communication to run through a wire that runs between the devices and the connector. Once a communication channel is established the tablet devices can work together to allow activities like book reading or even be configured in more of a laptop arrangement.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.