On July 26 we posted a report titled "Microsoft Invents the Splittable & Clippable Gaming Controller for Future Surface Tablets and beyond." In that invention Microsoft was basically taking a traditional Xbox gaming controller, splitting it in two and creating a clipping mechanism that would attach the two sides of the controller to a Surface Tablet for gaming. In today's patent application report we see that Microsoft is taking a completely different approach. This time, they're thinking of bringing gaming controls to a future Surface Tablet via a new variant of smart cover. This approach opens the door to delivering other niche related smart covers that could provide different tools for different markets. For instance, Microsoft presents another Surface tablet smart cover variant for enterprise professionals who make a lot of presentations using slides. That cover would include a built in controller for slides.
Microsoft Invents Surface Tablet Cover with Built-In Game Controls
In Microsoft's patent FIG. 3 noted below we're able to see a surface tablet with a traditional smart cover designed to both protect their Surface Tablet and yet provide it with a productive keyboard on the inside of the cover.
A new design that Microsoft is now considering is one that incorporates Xbox gaming controls into the sides of the keyboard.
The added gaming control wings can fold inward when not in use. When the user wants to play a game, the smart cover is folded behind the display and the wing styled gaming controls flip over the right and left sides of the tablet as notec in our cover graphic.
Smart Cover with Presentation Controller
In Microsoft's patent FIG. 9 above we're able to see yet another example of a new Surface Tablet Smart Cover design. In this example, Microsoft has created a smart cover designed for professionals who make presentations.
The control portion shown as #902 includes controls that are configured for use in navigating through a presentation. As such, the computing device may display sides involved in the presentation in a user interface which may be selected using one or more fingers of the user's right hand.
Additionally, the controls #904 may be operated with a thumb of the user's left hand. A variety of other configurations and controls are also contemplated, such as to include controls configured for use in a browser to surf the Internet, controls configured to support interaction with a social network, and so forth.
Microsoft filed their patent application back in Q1 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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