Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple for a variety of game controller accessories that could be magnetically attached to an iPhone or iPad and include a foldable carrying case as featured in our cover graphic.
Apple’s invention provides accessories that can enhance one or more features of an electronic device, can be easily attached to an electronic device, can be easy to use, and can have a small and efficient form factor.
An illustrative embodiment of the present invention can provide a gaming accessory that can enhance the gaming functionality of an electronic device, such as a phone, tablet, portable computing device, or other computing device.
The gaming accessory may provide a physical interface for controlling gaming activities on the electronic device such that a screen of the electronic device remains at least largely unobstructed during gameplay. The gaming accessory may include a board, panel, or a base and one or more gamepads attachable to the tabletop, panel, base (generally referred to herein as tabletop or base) or electronic device such that the gamepads are positioned on one or more sides of the electronic device. Each game controller may include one or more user interface controls. Game controllers can be easily gripped during gameplay, enhancing gaming functionality.
These and other embodiments of the present invention can provide gaming accessories that easily attach to an electronic device. A game accessory can include an attachment feature that can attach the game accessory to a surface of an electronic device. The attachment element may include a magnet. The attachment feature may also or instead include multiple magnets. The attachment feature may also or instead include an array of magnets. The magnet array can be arranged in a circular pattern. The array of magnets in the game accessory can be magnetically attracted to a corresponding magnetic array in the electronic device.
These and other embodiments of the present invention can provide a game accessory having an array of stationary magnets. In this arrangement, it may be desirable to limit the intensity of a magnetic field generated by the fixed magnetic network at a contact surface of the game accessory in order to protect the information which could be stored magnetically, by example on credit cards, passes or elsewhere. But it may also be desirable to increase the magnetic field to improve the attachment of the game accessory to the electronic device.
Therefore, the magnetic field may be increased when the gaming accessory is or is about to be attached to the electronic device. For example, an electromagnet can be used. The current through the electromagnetic can be increased in order to increase the magnetic attraction.
Additionally, or instead, the magnet array of a game accessory may be a moving magnet array. This array of moving magnets can move from a first position away from a contact surface to a second position close to the contact surface when the game accessory is or is about to be attached to the electronic device . When the game accessory is removed from the electronic device, the moving magnet array can return to the first position away from the contact surface.
These and other embodiments of the present invention can provide game accessories that are easy to use. For example, these gaming accessories may include one or more game controllers that support user interface controls such as a directional joystick, D-pad, button set, shoulder button, or button. other user interface commands.
These and other embodiments of the present invention can provide game accessories arranged as a folio for an electronic device. This folio configuration can provide a small and efficient form factor for a gaming accessory. The folio can include a back panel or a tray for supporting the electronic device. The back panel or tray may substantially cover a back side of the electronic device.
Below is a series of game controller accessory patent figures illustrating a variety of features such as a built-in projector, folding mechanism and more.
We ask that sites using our graphics be limited to taking only one group of numbers.
This is a master patent that extensively details this invention which over time could add multiple features. For further details, see Apple’s patent application 20220096923.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of bringing such a product to market is unknown at this time.