Apple has an extensive history of stacking up patents. This has helped it in the not so distant past in the lawsuit with Samsung, which it won. According to a report by Patently Apple, the company has filed for a patent, which details a new way of retail packaging that allows it to transform into a docking station for iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone.
According to the Patently Apple, “It appears that Apple is seriously thinking of taking their iDevice retail packaging to the next level, Transformer style. Apple's invention is all about providing for packaging with multiple uses and functions after opening. In one embodiment, the packaging includes a base and a removable lid. The base converts into being a docking station for the iDevice.”
We may see this in the future
The lid as shown in the picture is designed to accommodate an item such as an iPod touch or an iPhone. The article states, “In particular, the dimensions of packaging could alternatively be sized to accommodate portable entertainment devices such as an MP3 player or smart phone, computer tablets such as the iPad or any other suitable device one wishes to both package and display.”
If Apple does employ this technology, one would definitely have far more uses for the packaging than just leave it in a place for an unknown amount of time. However, it may be some time before we actually see this technology being implemented unless Apple decides to speed up the process and launch it with the brand’s 2013 generation of iOS devices.
While this may make sense to most why Apple may decide to manufacture a packaging that doubles up as a dock, the brand also has a track record of filing for patents for obscure technology. Earlier this year, the brand filed for a patent for a treadmill that will integrate with iOS devices. The patent shows it is applying for “sports equipment apparatus” with elements that will allow it to be hooked up with an iDevice. The patent also details “circuits, methods and apparatus” that will allow the sports equipment to write data to a media player. It shows cardio equipment. It also has diagrams to show how the interface will work with a treadmill.
The patent shows a 30-pin connector, so it looks like the treadmill would allow you to play media from your iPhone or iPod just by hooking your device up to a dock. This will, of course, mean both music and videos. The patent also shows that the treadmill would read your user information and adjust its settings. It could create records of your workout and have them stored on your iDevice. This would not only be useful in keeping track of your workouts but also to share with friends on their iDevices or the social networks.
Apple already has forayed into the fitness world before with the Nike+ app, released in 2006, which started out as a chip in your shoe that would connect to your iPod wirelessly and collect information on your run, such as the distance, pace, and more.