Originally Posted by nht
... This isn't their idea...this was first introduced by an Apple UI alumnus in 1992 while working at Sun...Bruce Tognazzini:
This is the famous "Knowledge Navigator" of course.
I don't see this happening at all though and it's not a direction Apple is currently moving in. It's impractical and "old-fashioned" compared to even a basic iPad really.
The more obvious move for future desktops (keep this under your hat in case Balmer is listening), and the direction Apple does seem to be moving, is to blend the screen and the keyboard/mouse into one unit. As fancy as the Knowledge Navigator concept is, and as explicitly integrated as the screen and desktop seem to be in it, it still conceives of "things to look at" on the vertical surface, and "things to manipulate" on the lower horizontal surface. It doesn't really dispense with the concept of screen and keyboard looked at this way.
The latest iMac is very very close to "an iPad on a stick." The only patents Apple has shown on multi-touch desktops show something very similar to a "kneeling iMac" or an "iPad on a moveable/adjustable stick." An iPad like device on a spring loaded stand of some kind, either slanted at a drafting table kind of angle, or adjustable to various angles, possibly with a detachable screen part as well, is a far more likely future desktop than this giant curved wall.
The future is almost certainly filled with tablets, tablets, and more tablets and eventually the only difference between a tablet and a desktop will be whether you can pick it up. And yes, we will all be typing on glass and in ten years, no one will care for regular old physical keyboards and most won't remember them.