Apple has a new patent (via AppleInsider) that could show you notifications on your Smart Cover, even when your iPad’s screen is obscured by the protective accessory. The filing details both active Smart Cover notifications that would use built-in LEDs or electroluminescent displays, and passive versions that could support pass-through transmission of light from the iPad display itself through translucent or selectively transparent panels.
The patent would allow the active version to light up icons built into its surface, like an envelope for incoming mail, or a message bubble for inbound texts. These could be arranged on the surface of the Smart Cover based on priority, or they could display in a different color depending on urgency. The transparent panels offer even more flexibility, letting Apple use part of the iPad’s screen to show you not only a notification that something has been received or triggered, but also giving you content related to that notice; so, for instance, if you received a calendar notification, it could give you details about the event and its participants.
Sounds like HTC's cover that recently came out with.