Apple filing shows touch-screen iMac with adjustable stand

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A patent filing by Apple depicts an iMac that transitions between mouse/keyboard-based input and touch-based input through an adjustable stand.



The filing, which was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, is titled "Transitioning Between Modes of Input."



According to the filing, various sensors, such as accelerometers or position sensors, would detect a change in the orientation of a computer's touch-screen, thereby triggering a change between "input modes and corresponding user interfaces." The change in input could also modify an on-screen item or window, potentially "enlarging/reducing, obscuring/unobscuring, moving, etc."



The filing differentiates between high-resolution input methods, e.g. mouse and keyboard, and low-resolution input methods, e.g. touch. Input resolution is defined in the filing as the "general level of fineness at which an input can be detected and processed."







As an example, an iMac in its traditional upright position would utilize a mouse and keyboard and switch to touch-based input when swiveled down on its stand.







Another example of the transitioning input method is briefly given using a MacBook-like product. The example tablet computer has a keyboard, trackpad, and a touch-screen display. Similar to several tablet designs already on the market, the display can swivel to lie flat against the keyboard, activating touch-based input and its corresponding UI.







The patent was filed on July 9, 2009. Paul Costa is listed as the inventor. Costa's LinkedIn profile lists his current role as Hardware Engineering Manager at Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    Hard to believe that is an Apple filing what with the hands actually looking human and all...
  • Reply 2 of 50
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    Hard to believe that is an Apple filing what with the hands actually looking human and all...



    I guess even Apple's patent hands have to evolve at some point, too. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be drooling over the beautiful art that is an Apple patent. (Or, judging by the top right, maybe not.)



  • Reply 3 of 50
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    I guess even Apple's patent hands have to evolve at some point, too. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be drooling over the beautiful art that is an Apple patent. (Or, judging by the top right, maybe not.)







    that thumb is pretty awesome lol
  • Reply 4 of 50
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    …thereby triggering a change between "input modes and corresponding user interfaces"…Paul Costa is listed as the inventor. Costa's LinkedIn profile lists his current role as Hardware Engineering Manager at Apple….



    This is an interesting idea. I don't know why it could not be feasible software-wise with the Mac OS capable of supporting both the AppKit and UIKit GUIs. An advantage would be access to apps for the traditional Mac OS and the iOS. A disadvantage is that you are going to need a soft cloth to remove fingerprints from the display before returning from low-resolution input to high-resolution input.



    No other technology firm I know of has the software ecosystemin place to pull this concept off.



    Just because a patent has been filed does not mean the concept will be implemented. That would be a management decision regarding the business case for the concept.



    Edit: "ecosystemin" should read as "ecosystem in"
  • Reply 5 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BertP View Post


    This is an interesting idea. I don't know why it could not be feasible software-wise with the Mac OS capable of supporting both the AppKit and UIKit GUIs. An advantage would be access to apps for the traditional Mac OS and the iOS. A disadvantage is that you are going to need a soft cloth to remove fingerprints from the display before returning from low-resolution input to high-resolution input.



    No other technology firm I know of has the software ecosystemin place to pull this concept off.



    Just because a patent has been filed does not mean the concept will be implemented. That would be a management decision regarding the business case for the concept.



    Edit: "ecosystemin" should read as "ecosystem in"



    Bert, you don't have to tell us about the spelling error, just fix it and re-submit.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    If it's a touch system them it should be able to be removed from the stand. That way if people want to they could mount it anywhere they want on any wall and do what they want with it. Or place it inside a table top etc. Ccoffee table gadget for cafes or home.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    If it's a touch system them it should be able to be removed from the stand. That way if people want to they could mount it anywhere they want on any wall and do what they want with it. Or place it inside a table top etc. Ccoffee table gadget for cafes or home.



    You can already attach an iMac to a VESA compliant mount point, no reason to assume that this idea would do away with that.



    It might simply be a software switch that keeps it in touch mode regardless of the screen orientation.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Bert, you don't have to tell us about the spelling error, just fix it and re-submit.



    Here are some amendments:



    Software-wise, it would be much easier to implement this concept with both Mac OS X and iOS as binaries with the supporting EFI to re-boot to whichever OS you prefer. That would mean an ARM SoC would have to be included in the machine as well. The iOS would have to be able to handle the larger screen.



    Also, it would be interesting as to whether some files could be shared somehow via some sort of pipe between the separate OSs in their separate partitions on a hard drive. Maybe OpenCL between the Intel CPU, and the ARM SoC?
  • Reply 9 of 50
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    No thanks. I like the iMac the way it is. The trackpad makes a touchscreen unnecessary.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Ick



    Not wanted, not needed. Keep the iOS out of my Mac.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    It would be super awesome if the Mac would flip into iOS when its in horizontal mode and I can use iOS apps.



    Here is why: Let's say I need a quick email or to just look up what's on TV. I just lower the computer and hit the What's On app or the mail app. From there I can do my thing real quick, look at the calendar maybe, without disturbing whatever is on the comp, having to log in, so on.



    When I am ready for more serious tasks, just flip it back and I can use keyboard and mouse to compose longer email, edit videos, etc.



    I think doing that could breathe new life into the desktop.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    eulereuler Posts: 78member
    Why not just have both modes active all the time? Why do I have to lay the monitor down to be able to touch it?



    I think that it would be frustrating to be doing something and you move the screen just a bit and the mouse and keyboard don't work all of a sudden, etc.



    If both modes are always active, this is the same as any touch screen PCs on the market already.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Such and obvious step. iOS features as a sub set of the full OS X on higher end Macs.



    The same mentality against this didn't want mice.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Maybe Apple will implement a system as intuitive and efficient as the MS OneNote/Hp TouchSmart combo.



    We'll See...
  • Reply 15 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    Maybe Apple will implement a system as intuitive and efficient as the MS OneNote/Hp TouchSmart combo.



    We'll See...



    Good one lol
  • Reply 16 of 50
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by euler View Post


    Why not just have both modes active all the time? Why do I have to lay the monitor down to be able to touch it?



    I think that it would be frustrating to be doing something and you move the screen just a bit and the mouse and keyboard don't work all of a sudden, etc.



    If both modes are always active, this is the same as any touch screen PCs on the market already.



    I doubt that would be a problem. The screen would have to be pretty horizontal for touch to kick in, it would be quite unnatural to work with keyboard and mouse if the screen is 0 to 30 degrees off horizontal. 60 to 90 is ideal for keyboard and mouse. 30 degrees in between are quite unnatural for both.



    Plus see my post above, I think it would go to iOS when it is in horizontal mode, or would at least ask you if you want to do that.



    None of this is confirme of course but I think it's a great idea.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Such and obvious step. iOS features as a sub set of the full OS X on higher end Macs.



    The same mentality against this didn't want mice.



    Having some cross over has always seemed likely but every user ?imagining? of this Mac with a touch display has always been awful. Touching the screen can?t be the default method for input and the display can?t be vertical thus requiring uncomfortably extended hands. This seems to address both of those.



    Still, I don?t see much consumer use without some killer apps, and even then you tend to have the space on a desktop for a much more precious mouse or trackpad and a keyboard for fast typing and shortcuts.



    Between a 13? MBP and a 30? ACD you have such a huge range, and you have all the display elements that are designed for a mouse pointer not a finger, so the only thing I can see this being used for is iOS w/CocoaTouch devs who want to test their app on a Mac but with a more realistic feel before moving to an iDevice, but even that is a stretch.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Good one lol



    The reviews of the HP TouchSmart machines have been horrid. No one has yet come close to matching Apple?s UI efficiency and speed for the same HW.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    Maybe Apple will implement a system as intuitive and efficient as the MS OneNote/Hp TouchSmart combo.



    We'll See...



    OneNote intuitive? Are you sure? I uninstalled it almost right away when I saw the UI.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    crunchcrunch Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by (naysayers)...




    Not wanted, not needed. Keep the iOS out of my Mac.



    Imagination is a beautiful thing...I didn't think I could get along with any trackpad on the various ThinkPad laptops that I've owned over the past 11 years and I always used my beloved Trackpoint stick instead.



    Now, I have replaced my Magic Mouse, which I loved using, with a Trackpad for use with a Desktop! And I had to buy that Trackpad separately! ...(Apple's doing something right...)
  • Reply 20 of 50
    The hand in this patent filing looks very familiar:



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