AppleInsider reports today that Apple has just been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a touch-sensitive bezel that would extend over part of the device and hide or uncover that area with a simple one-touch command from the user. According to the patent, the touch-enabled bezel would be either partly, or completely, light-transitive, with the screen shown in the patent divided into two parts; the uncovered part being the “active viewing area,” and the covered part called the “second portion.” When the user’s fingers are detected by the bezel’s embedded sensor, the controller sends signals that will cause the second portion to light up, changing the state of the bezel. According to the patent, the bezel could show a variety of different status changes in this way, such as changing colour, or transmitting light, or something more complex, such as an opaque bezel turning transparent. AppleInsider speculates that the smart bezel could possibly be used in a wearable device such as the rumoured “iWatch” (see story below).
Source: Apple's 'smart bezel' hides portions of a device display until needed, acts as secondary input