Apple's next iPad Smart Cover could be a lot smarter than the original version. A patent has revealed Apple's plans to integrate lights into its Smart Cover for notifications.

The patent, filed under "Integrated visual notification system in an accessory device", appeared on the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Apple proposes a case that looks like the current tri-fold Smart Cover but features low-power LED or electroluminescent panels. These would be powered either by a MagSafe cable connection or inductive wireless charging. Either way it’s likely the case would only work with a new generation of iPad.

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Another proposal shows a cover with see-through shapes that would allow the screen to display while the cover is closed. This sounds more like Samsung S-View cases that feature windows to display information when the phone is locked and the is cover closed. The idea would be to display notifications in order of importance from top to bottom along the cover.

When a notification is seen a user will be able to dismiss it, without opening the cover, using the volume rocker on the side of the iPad. There is also a propsed combination of the two ideas with cut-out parts of the cover for viewing the screen and LEDs to give alerts.

Since this is just a patent we may not see it released by Apple anytime soon, if at all. But it's a good idea that would probably sell more iPads so we're not ruling it out.

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