Future Apple Devices to Boast Interactive Bezel?

Screen shot 2011 04 07 at 22 22 37

A new patent published by Patently Apple today reveals Apple’s plans to create a smart, interactive bezel for iOS devices, which would make those wasted areas around touch screens incredibly useful. The patent illustrates a bezel that lights up to display words or icons when required. It will be touch capacitive allowing users to interact with its messages, and opens up some great possibilities for iOS developers.

Apple describes the smart bezel as a “secondary display”, which features “Smart Indicators” in areas around the edge of the screen that can display information. For example, it could display icons that light up when we receive text messages, emails, or voicemails. They can be interactive so that users can press them to open up a message or email, but they don’t have to be.

Screen shot 2011 04 07 at 22 23 08

The patent application has a nice long name: “Electronic Devices with a Primary Display and a Selective Illuminated Secondary Display.” Its possibilities would mean the way we use our iOS devices could change completely. Not only could it redefine the way in which we receive notifications, but it could also change the way we navigate and control these devices.

An interactive bezel could enable game developers to build controls into the areas around the screen that means a users fingers don’t have to obstruct their view of the game while they’re playing – a frustration I’ve always had with iOS gaming, especially with FPS games.

Hopefully this won’t be another Apple patent that demonstrates a product they’ve tested but decided not to develop. I’d love to see all of that space around the touch screens on my iOS devices actually have a decent purpose.

Do you think an interactive bezels a good idea, and how do you think it could be put to best use? Let us know in the comments!

{via Patently Apple}


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