Can you imagine a future in which you might place your iPhone on a speaker dock, and its main graphical user interface (UI) automatically changes to one showing a set of audio playback controls, with no need for any manual input from you? Or what about owning a sports-oriented protective case, which – when you put your smartphone in it – switches the currently active graphical UI to a sports-focused one?
Well, it seems that Apple can certainly envisage this, judging by a patent application – made by the Cupertino company – that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has just published.
As reported by Patently Apple, the patent application – which has the number 20220150347 – relates to electronic devices and accessories, such as cases and docks, that would dynamically alter how the electronic devices operate, using near-field wireless communication systems.
The above examples set out how that could work in practice. Patently Apple’s report suggested that the technology could allow for a protective case to be configured to change an iPhone’s operational mode in one manner, while a charging dock changes the device’s operational mode in another manner, and an “alarm clock” docking accessory changes the operational mode of the phone in yet another manner.
Images associated with the patent application also illustrate the potential use of the technology to transform the given device’s UI to one focused on camera, gaming or even home automation functionality.
As we must always emphasize when it comes to the Apple patent applications that are reported from time to time, it is important to acknowledge that the mere existence of such an application does not mean the proposed technology will eventually come to market. Nor does it give any indication of a date when the solution in question could conceivably become available in stores.
Still, it is another exciting indicator of the world of possibility that could await us in Apple products in the years ahead.