Patents and Trademarks are one of the means that a given manufacturer has of protecting its intellectual property (and something that Xiaomi appear to be discovering at this very moment). However, in order for an idea to be protected, it must be claimed and presented and the United States Patent and Trademark office is one such place. Here, you'll find a publically available copy of all accepted patents from all kinds of designs. And today I'm bringing you a story based around the catchy-sounding Samsung US Design Patent D720, 747. At first glance, this appears to be a fairly mundane tablet and cover and something we've seen from Samsung before. But before I write this off with a "nothing to see here, move along, move along" statement, wait! This could be a Samsung tablet and a cover, but why is there a hole at the upper right hand side and upper centre? Presumably this is to allow certain features to run with the cover on or in the closed position.
The United States Patent and Trademark office publishes publicly-available copies of all accepted patents, a great boon to nerds, lawyers, and technology reporters everywhere. The latest batch of design patents includes hundreds of obtuse examples, from everything to glasses frames to mops, and among them is this little gem awarded to Samsung, US Design Patent D720,747. It's an interesting look at a style of tablet and cover from Samsung before in exactly this configuration. Whilst it's not confirmed what these cut outs are for, our friends over at Android Police have a theory that it probably isn't the obvious choices (a camera and speaker combination) but it could be a shutter key for taking selfies. This could be especially relevant if the Samsung tablet in question has a wide angle front camera.
However, this is a Samsung product and Samsung like to give their devices some great features that nobody else has either thought of or dared introduced. I've some other ideas as to what this might be: perhaps it's a humidity sensor? Or a supplemental infrared camera? Or some kind of laser keyboard, because lasers are cool, right? Perhaps Samsung have mounted a universal infrared sensor on the back of the tablet so one doesn't have to have the edge pointing towards our remote control unit? Or in the words of Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it could be bunnies. If you have an idea what the cutout is for, hit us up in the comments below. There's no prize for the most outlandish-yet-possible suggestion, other than perhaps Samsung (or some other manufacturer) might copy your ideas!