Featured Image: Flickr | Yutaka Tsutano
In an another patent by Apple to US Patent and Trademark Office, the Cupertino giant lays its eyes on a smart multi functional dock that aims to serve the functionality of supporting multiple accessories, inductive charging, trackpad, gesture controls along with an audio output system. This is not the first attempt that Apple has made towards designing a smart dock that would cover all the basic as well as advanced operations. However, the previous stand-like model didn't come to limelight as it was expected to be. So here is an another attempt to rejuvenate its previous dock with some ultra advanced functionalities. Along with the incorporation of audio output mechanism, the smart dock highlights the utilization of wireless communication, proximity sensors, a touch-sensitive display and support for also connecting to and charging accessories. This audio plug may be located near a connector insert such that the connector insert and audio plug may be inserted into a smart phone or portable computing device at the same time. Moreover, the patent talks about using advanced gesture technology and make use of simple gestures as wave to achieve some basic functions. Paying equal respect to newly announced Apple Watch, the patent explains how the smart watch can be attached, charged and synced directly from the dock. As suggested in the images, the proposed model should have a touch pad and a couple of buttons to control playback volume through an audio channel, manage dock settings, and so on. The dock is also supposed to have those colorful LED status lights along with a built-in display to keep user updated about status for the connected portable device or accessories, indicate time, mode of the device, weather, news, or other data. Enabled with WiFi, the dock may be used to control a couple of connected devices such as coffee makers, thermostats, lighting and other smart devices. Apple's docking station patent application was first filed for in September 2013 and credits Gerhard A. Schneider, Scott Krueger, Robert D. Watson, Alexei Kosut and Tony Chi Want Ng as its inventors.