When I first saw the Smart Cover accessory demonstrated at the iPad 2 launch event it probably initially made more of an impression on me than the iPad 2.
The elegance with which the cover snapped onto the iPad 2 made me want to watch Apple’s Smart Cover web video over and over again. When I was a kid I had a bit of a fetish for magnets. And often spent a lot of time experimenting with ways to make things appear to float when attached to a piece of nylon thread anchored to a desk, and being tugged on by the waves of a big magnet from some hidden spot.
I, just like the rest of you, immediately figured out that Apple was using magnets for the Smart Cover. And at the back of my mind had a vague idea how they might be ensuring that the smart cover snapped into place perfectly each time.
It was nice to have that confirmed today by iFixit’s teardown of the Smart Cover. But also impressive to see just how much R&D, thought, and extraordinarily how many magnets had gone into the design!
There are 31 magnets in total used in the iPad 2 and Smart Cover, just to make it work. 10 in the iPad 2 and 21 in the cover itself. And they are carefully arranged (*and marked for polarity) so that the complex, complimentary arrangements on the cover and the iPad 2 ensure everything works, (*is easy to assemble), and the device even turns on and off when you open and close the cover.
iFixit also noted that you can turn the iPad 2 on and off with any other magnetic source when held in the correct position over the device.
31 magnets; awesome Apple engineering, or insane overkill? Have your say in the comments.