Apple Invents Foldable iPad and iPhone that could enter a 'Joint Operating Mode' Similar to Microsoft's Surface Neo
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a possible future folding iPad that would be able to go into a second mode called the "joint operating mode" where one image could be seamlessly divided into two displays. It's a feature that Microsoft's next-gen folding tablet called "Surface Neo" has shown to feature as the image above illustrates. The video below is set to start just as this feature comes into view so that you could understand what Apple is conveying with this latest granted patent.
Apple's granted patent covers multiple electronic devices and displays being used together in a system. The electronic devices may use sensor measurements and other information to detect when an edge of a first device is adjacent to an edge of a second electronic device.
In response to detection of adjacency between the edges of the first and second devices, the devices may transition from an independent operating mode in which each device operates separately to a joint operating mode in which resources of the devices are shared.
In the joint operating mode, images may extend across displays in the devices, speakers in respective devices may be used to play different channels of an audio track, cameras and sensors in different devices may be used in cooperation with each other, and other resources may be shared.
Magnetic components may hold devices together in a variety of orientations. The magnetic components may operate in cooperation with beveled housing edges and other structures to help hold devices in planar configurations in which the devices lie in a common plane and non-planar configurations in which the devices are oriented at a non-zero angle with respect to each other.
Control circuitry in the devices may alter the operating modes of the devices in response to user input, sensor measurements, and information on the previous operating states of the devices. When transitioning to independent operation following joint operation, some of the joint operating settings of the devices may be retained by the separated devices.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below is a diagram of a pair of adjacent electronic devices that could be folded; FIG. 4 is a side view of a pair of electronic devices supported by a bendable case with an internal hinge structure; FIG. 6 is a side view of a pair of electronic devices in a case that has been folded back on itself.
Apple's patent FIG. 17 is a flow chart of illustrative operations involved in using multiple electronic devices and pointing to the Joint operating State.
Apple's granted patent 10,585,708 was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q2 2017 that was never published under Apple as a patent application to keep this secret. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
A competing report posted today illustrating multiple different sized iPhones close to one another to share an image as its cover graphic is completely off the mark.