A new patent awarded to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Docking station with audio output” hints about Apple’s tempt towards building a smart dock that would support multiple accessories, advanced gesture controls, wireless communications and possibly inductive charging.
This patent outlines an advanced upgrade from the previous model of Apple dock that merely served as a high cost Apple branded stand for iPhone and iPad. Such a thought at Apple’s end projects how inquisitively the giant is interested to conceive multi functional accessories along with its already class level devices.
The patent outlines on a prototype for a dock that would posses proximity sensors, a wireless communications package for transferring data and remotely controlling Internet connected devices, touchpad control and more.
Firstly, this advanced dock will serve the basic functionality of charging Apple devices via a lightening connector. The prototype also suggests room supporting one or more accessories with inductive charging, though it have scant chances to appear any soon. The dock also shows off an audio output system via a headphone jack which would draw its input signals from the dock once the digital-to-analog conversion is carried out.
Apple’s newly announced Apple Watch may also make its way to this advanced dock system and could be attached, charged and synced directly from the dock. The dock may come with a display incorporation along with LED lights for status and information indication. The dock can also pull data from another accessory or a wireless router using onboard communications hardware.
Apple also projects to communicate its dock with other connected devices using dock’s WiFi capabilities and control them either manually or leave it to Siri’s assistance. Dock may also feature a gesture control system for very basic functions. Moreover, Apple has been showing keen interest in incorporating gesture control technology to its devices. It may carry a number of USB and other ports for connection of other devices.
Apple’s docking station patent application was first filed for in September 2013 and credits Gerhard A. Schneider, Scott Krueger, Robert D. Watson, Alexei Kosut and Tony Chi Want Ng as its inventors.