Apple granted patent for iPhone snap-on game controller and keyboard
Apple has been granted a patent for some iPhone snap-on game controller and keyboard accessories.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for an iPhone gaming accessory that snaps onto your iPhone.
The patent is for an “accessory for playing games with a portable electronic device” and was actually filed over six years ago as noted by AppleInsider, just after the announcement of the iPhone 3G.
It outlines a device that is designed specifically for use with a handset or portable media player. There’s also mention of an external thumb keyboard device.
Although the patent was filed just as the App Store was announced and third-party titles like Rolando and FieldRunners started to appear, Apple was starting to realise the gaming potential of its iPhone.
The device sees the iPhone completely inserted into the gaming pad, which comes complete with rumble feedback, dual D-Pad/Analogue sticks, face buttons and other classic controller features.
Although the below diagram has a connector in it, Apple also states that the device may instead connect wirelessly to your iPhone.
Through the wireless connectivity, Apple outlines that wireless multiplayer could occur with gamers using similar technology.
Apple’s set up included point-to-point or ad-hoc connectivity using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or online multiplayer.
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The patent sounds a lot like existing Made for iOS game controllers, such as the Logitech Powershell.
All of these have had varying success, mostly because of their battery sucking properties, bulky and cumbersome design and inelegant solutions for connectivity.