Patent Shows Touchscreen MacBook
Now that Apple's marquee products - the iPhone and iPad - have gotten such praise for their high-quality IPS touchscreens, it looks like the company is looking at incorporating such displays on the MacBook line as well. Jack Purcher at Patently Mac
looked at recently-revealed Apple patents for their IPS technology, and noted clear references to touchscreen-equipped MacBooks
. With Apple putting such emphasis on touch with the new Magic Touchpad and magic Mouse, it makes sense that touchscreens would be the next logical step. And given that multi-touch is such an integral part of iOS, one commentator wonders if future MacBooks could also run a form of Apple's mobile operating system.
The patent that Purcher highlights relates to "increasing light transmittance in LCD pixels," but the hidden gem he found is a clear reference to touchscreen application. Talking about an "input structure" ith a touch-sensitive mechanism," the patent goes on to detail how "the user may select or interact with displayed interface elements via the touch sensitive mechanism" that would "allow a user to navigate the displayed interface by touching the display," which is a clear a description of multitouch in patent-ese as you're going to find. The patent also clearly indicates that the device using this technology could be "a MacBook, MacBook Pro and/or MacBook Air."
How you'd actually use
a touchscreen Mac is a different matter. There's nothing inherently better about using a touchscreen rather than a touchpad or mouse to control a regular computer graphical interface like Mac OS X. In many cases, it'll be more awkward to touch the screen rather than use the built-in touchpad of the MacBook. John Brownlee over at Cult of Mac
looks at this news and wonders if it means that Apple intends to build iOS support into Mac OS X
. He talks about a "Dashboard-style" integration, which presumably means a separate mode where iOS apps would pop up like Dashboard widgets, and you'd use the touchscreen rather than the mouse in that mode.
Obviously, just because Apple mentions a technology in a particular patent, it doesn't mean we'll see it in a product soon, if ever. However, given all the resources Apple is putting into the mobile, multi-touch side of the house with iOS, the likelihood is that we'll see the two sides merge, and a MacBook - located right between an iPad and an iMac - is the place you'd expect that merging to happen.
Source: Cult of Mac