Patents are always an issue of interest when Apple is concerned, since they offer some insight into what products might be seen from the company in the near future. The new iOS 6 feature Passbook, for instance, was seen almost a year previously in a patent application.
Now, Apple has filed for a patent on what looks to be a next-generation Smart Cover for the iPad. This futuristic cover would feature its own touchscreen, as well as solar panels an a possible keyboard. It really seems as though Apple has packed a lot into a tiny cover. Since Apple has put so much work into the Smart Cover already, in both design and marketing, it is likely that we will see at least some of these features in a future iteration of the Smart Cover. Read the full report with all of the possible features at PatentlyApple