2014 iPad Air, iPad Mini And iPad Pro To Have Magnetic Detachable Lenses, Apple Secures Patent And More

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By Precious Silva | February 24, 2014 10:40 PM EST

For a few weeks, Apple has been acquiring patents for various devices. Recent reports claimed the tech giant will transform almost all its product lines with new features.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

Unlike in past years, the upgrades on the iPhone, iPad and Mac line were limited with new operating system, improved battery and camera. This time, Apple plans to use a different screen technology, new accessories and charging capabilities. What does Apple have in store for the 2014 iPad Air, iPad Mini and Pro line? 

According to a patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has been working on new iPad accessories, including magnetic detachable lenses. The patent features an intelligent magnetic attachment system offering the iPad a way to communicate and connect with different devices. These also include other iPads. 

The patent "Magnetic attachment unit" draws from the keyed magnetic mechanism found in all iPads.  Apple currently employs an internal magnet arrangement as a simple anchor point for smart cases or smart covers. The patent takes that technology even further. 

In the patent, Apple suggests a keyed magnetic structure integrated in the iPad chassis. This is similar to the current setup. Through the use of keyed magnets, Apple can get an optimal position for the add-on accessories without encountering many problems. The patent also suggests that Apple can place the magnetic structures in any side of the tablet. These include the stands and the docks. 

Apple can deploy both electromagnets and traditional magnets. The magnets may be controlled through the operating system of the device. In case the user wishes to connect or disconnect an accessory, he just needs to choose the hands-free mode. 

The patent also shows how Apple plans to connect to the attachable accessories to the iPad. The company plans on using the internal wireless hardware suite of the device. This will allow users to operate any accessory paired with the iPad. 

The tech giant provides a range of solutions like "active peripherals" (game controllers) and static cases, including docks. Users will have to wait for Apple to confirm the final features of its iPad lineup. According to recent reports, the company plans to unveil its new set of tablets later this year.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / )
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.
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