Patently Apple, the site that finds out a lot of useful stuff simply by studying the many patents filed by Apple, reports that on January 6, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that has some very interesting plans for the iPad, including three and four speaker arrays and a camera with facial and location recognition. The possibility of a magnetic stand for the iPad, as seen in the illustrations that accompany the patent application, is also mentioned.
In terms of the speaker arrays, the patent says that the different speaker set-ups would all be in order to help produce better audio at increased range, according to TiPb, with three or four speakers situated around the iPad. An orientation sensor is also featured in the designs, which would detect the orientation of the speaker array and provide an orientation signal.
As far as the camera is concerned, the patent refers to a camera that, as well as having the capacity to recognise faces (pretty standard in many cameras these days), would also reorient itself depending on whether or not it was being used in landscape or portrait mode
All very interesting stuff, even if it never sees the light of day, which many patents donít, itís still fascinating to see the sorts of designs that Apple is playing around with.
Source: Apple's iPad May Gain New Speaker Array + Facial Recognition Cam - Patently Apple via iPad to gain facial recognition camera and new speaker array? [Patent Watch] | TiPb