A recent patent filing by Apple is causing a buzz among iPhone fans. Apple blog Patently Apple spotted a filing from the company for something called a 'smart bezel'. The filing describes a system which takes the black lining around the current iPhone screen (the bezel) and uses it to display images, effectively turning the bezel into a 'secondary display'.
So what could be done with a bezel-turned-screen? Well, the first thought that springs to mind is animated controls. Perhaps Apple could add some additional controls to the interface to go along with the current 'home' button. Maybe navigational features, or status indicators.
Or perhaps the company decides to open the system up to third-party developers by way of an API. Imagine if iOS apps were able to animate their own custom controls and buttons without having to take up valuable display space?
It should be noted that just because a company files for a patent does not mean that the feature is imminent. In fact, a great many patent filings never find their way into retail products. It could be that, by the time this technology is ready, Apple has completely changed the design and layout of the iPhone. Still, it is a very intriguing idea to consider.
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