The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a new patent for smart iPhone cases. As described in the filing, the new iPhone accessory will use near-field wireless communication (NFC) technology to automatically change the user interface (UI) of the device according to the current task.
Previously, a patent titled “Apple invents a variety of future Game Controllers to be magnetically attached to an iDevice & include smart foldable carrying cases” described different ways Joy-Cons can be attached to iPhones and iPads to turn them into gaming devices. With the release of 5G network support on iPhone and iPad, it seems like the next step for the tech giant to work on improving users’ gaming experience.
Future iPhone cases will turn the device’s UI into an audio player, alarm clock, CarPlay, and more
The patent application viewed by Patently Apple explains that iPhone cases with a specific graphical user interface will be able to change the UI of the device as per their usage.
For example, when an iPhone is placed in a sport-focused protective case, the iPhone may, without additional user input, replace its primary graphical user interface (or any graphical user interface that is currently active) with a sport-focused interface.
As another example, when the mobile phone is placed on a speaker dock, the mobile phone may replace its primary graphical user interface with a set of audio playback controls.
Users will be able to select the graphical objects from a collection of graphical objects stored in an app on the Home screen including “an audio control object, a home automation object, a recipe object, a timer object, a calendar object, a channel guide, and selection object, a clock object, a weather object, and a news-feed object.”
Furthermore, users will also be given the option the personalize their UI.
The graphical objects may have input objects, output objects, or both. Notably, the user may define numerous auxiliary graphical user interfaces each with different objects or different combinations of objects (or even with the same objects in a different user-defined arrangement).
For example, one auxiliary graphical user interface may include the audio control object, while another may lack the audio control object. By providing such flexibility, users can produce highly customized and relevant auxiliary user interfaces for use with numerous different docks and accessories.
Apple introduces innovative technologies to users that they didn’t even know they needed. In the latest iPhone 13 series, Apple launched features like cinematic mode, macro photography, ProRes, and others. Therefore, to see patents for new technologies and inventions is very exciting because it gives a sense that the company is working to further enhance users’ experience.