iPad 2 Feature Rumor: New Smart Bezel – No Physical Buttons

We’ve been trying to keep our readers informed with all the latest developments and rumors about the upcoming tablet, the Apple iPad 2, which many people are avidly anticipating. Among our most recent articles we’ve looked at whether there’s a need for a next-generation iPad, and also rumors of an iPad 3 or iPad Mini in the fall.

Now we have some news on another possible new feature for the iPad 2 and that is smart bezel touch controls. Luke Johnson over on T3, sourced from Cnet, reports that this new smart bezel would replace the need for physical buttons on future iPads. The story comes from an Apple patent that shows it plans to develop the smart bezel feature, which would integrate a sensor. It would add more sensitivity to touch controls and some commands and functions could be accessed simply by applying pressure in various ways such as squeezing, touching and tapping the outer area.

This would mean that there would be no need for a Home button and physical controls, as on the original iPad. For instance a downward swipe could be used to turn down the volume while a double-tap on the bezel could be used to wake the device from sleep mode. It’s possible this is too late though to come to the iPad 2 where we’ve already heard rumors that this WILL feature a Home button but if not it would possibly be on the following iPad model.

Samuel Miller over on Gizmo Crunch, sourced from Patently Apple, also reports on the smart bezel feature that could possibly still come to the iPad 2 and of course other iOS devices. He wonders what your iPad would choose to do if a certain death-grip was used on the smart bezel! Miller also notes that new multi-gesture supports are being worked on by Apple for the next iOS and so this news implies that those may not be limited to the touchscreens in future. You can also read much more about the smart bezel patent and how it works in detail on the Patently Apple link above.

What are your thoughts on the smart bezel feature? Do you hope this has come soon enough to make it into the iPad 2 or maybe you’d rather keep the Home button and other physical controls? We’d like to know so please do send us your comments about this.