Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,939,850) for an “accessory for a portable electronic device” that involves a cover for a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with at least one embedded electrical component.
According to the patent filing, the cover could augment the electrical capabilities of the smartphone. It could be used as an external battery, for example.
Per the patent tiling, the electronic cover could be laid, set, wrapped, spread upon, about or over a portion of the portable electronic device. It could be a film that is applied to a single surface of the gadget. The electronic cover may also be a flexible covering that includes a cavity for receiving the portable electronic device and that wraps/stretches around some portion of the portable electronic device. The outer covering may be referred to (among others) as a case, shield, container, jacket, vest, skin, protector, and the like of the portable electronic device.
What’s more, the electronic cover can also permit personalized ornamentation. And it may also provide tactility in order to improve the feel and grip to the iPhone, iPad, or Mac laptop.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A cover for a portable electronic device is disclosed. The cover can include at least one electrical component. For example, in one embodiment, an electrical component can be embedded in the cover.
“When the cover is placed on or mated with the portable electronic device, the electrical component embedded in the cover is able to interact with electrical circuitry of the portable electronic device. Advantageously, the cover can not only provide a protective and/or ornamental covering for the portable electronic device but can also augment the electrical capabilities of the portable electronic device.”
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.