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  • Touch Your Mac, Part 2: the "iMac Touch"


    A patent filed by Apple with the World Intellectual Property Organization shows an iMac with a tilting display that can transform on the fly from a standard desktop computer running Mac OS X to something very much like an iPad running iOS. The patent was discovered by Patently Apple, who also revealed the touchscreen MacBook patent profiled here yesterday. Put together, the two patents are a pretty strong indication that Apple is seriously looking at unifying Mac OS X and iOS and has figured out how to do it.

    Patently Apple's Jack Purcher is pretty fired up about the discovery of this patent, which he called the "Mother Lode of all information concerning the iMac Touch." And it's certainly true that this would be a pretty cool computer. When it's upright like an iMac, it would run Mac OS X using the keyboard and mouse for control, and when it's laid flat, the system switches to iOS and the monitor becomes a touchscreen. The patent describes the ability to set at what angle the switchover happens: "An accelerometer in the display could sense the force of gravity along an axis, and the measured force could be used to determine an angle of the display with respect to the ground (i.e. the plane perpendicular to the direction of the force of gravity). A transition between input modes could be performed when the vertical angle (tilt) of the display crosses a predetermined angle." The computer could also use a rotation sensor mounted in the adjustable stand or a touch sensor located where you would grab the display to tilt it.

    The patent also describes how this technology would be used in a laptop, with the display rotating and laying flat against the keyboard in a way that's reminiscent of convertible tablet/netbooks like the Telsda. The part of the patent that talks about the capability of "operating a peripheral device coupled to the host device" seems to pretty clearly refer to slaving your iPhone to the computer, with functions like "answering a telephone call, placing a telephone call, terminating a telephone call, changing the volume or audio settings, storing information related to telephone communications such as addresses, frequently dialed numbers, received calls, missed calls," and on and on. This means you'll basically have your iOS and Mac OS X worlds completely unified on your desktop.

    This information comes with the same caveat as yesterday's patent news: just because Apple has taken out a patent on something doesn't mean there will actually ever be a product based on it. However, this thing sure looks like something Apple would do, it would probably sell like hot cakes, and it looks like it could be built with all off-the-shelf technology Apple's already got. The application was filed a year ago, and to be honest, I'll be more than a little surprised if it doesn't get made into a product rather soon.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Touch Your Mac, Part 2: the "iMac Touch" started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. JayEmTee's Avatar
      JayEmTee -
      Apple already has enough of these new revolutionary products, maybe they should just cool it for a bit.
    1. mohaas05's Avatar
      mohaas05 -
      maybe it switches to a touch interface, like how os x launches front row.
    1. RyanWS's Avatar
      RyanWS -
      Why not just all OSX?
    1. macsoldier's Avatar
      macsoldier -
      definately would be a nice product, the best of both worlds and everything organized together.
    1. mohaas05's Avatar
      mohaas05 -
      It would be cool if the screen detached and became an iPad
    1. Volerikan's Avatar
      Volerikan -
      I might buy it.
    1. havoc0351's Avatar
      havoc0351 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mohaas05 View Post
      It would be cool if the screen detached and became an iPad
      That sounds awesome! An iPad running OSX and all of your stuff would be on it... nice!
    1. vruls's Avatar
      vruls -
      lol wtf are u gonns us iOS on ur computer for, wouldnt u rather use OS X apps, sens less
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      It would only be cool if it was detachable... U could carry it around with u everywhere like an iPad, use it as your controller for iTV, etc. Then when u want more power, u could connect it to the "magical dock", also providing the ability to transfer files to and from your devices.... That sounds cool.
    1. junnyboy11's Avatar
      junnyboy11 -
      Apple keep rollin in with the Product, And we keep rollin in their cash by buying their product.

      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      It would only be cool if it was detachable... U could carry it around with u everywhere like an iPad, use it as your controller for iTV, etc. Then when u want more power, u could connect it to the "magical dock", also providing the ability to transfer files to and from your devices.... That sounds cool.
      WTF you might aswell say that its an ipad then, apple would never do that bcause that would put their ipad sales down cuz people would obviously rather buy that...
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Quote Originally Posted by junnyboy11 View Post
      Apple keep rollin in with the Product, And we keep rollin in their cash by buying their product.



      WTF you might aswell say that its an ipad then, apple would never do that bcause that would put their ipad sales down cuz people would obviously rather buy that...
      Your logic is retarded.... U r saying apple wouldn't make a product like I described because it is to good and people would buy it?
    1. EddieLeonard's Avatar
      EddieLeonard -
      Quote Originally Posted by JayEmTee View Post
      Apple already has enough of these new revolutionary products, maybe they should just cool it for a bit.
      yeah, a company can only go so far with out ******* there winning streak up. they should just focus on improving what they have and not anything new in 2011

      because osx is optimized for desktop. ios is optimized for touch.

      there will most likely never be a touch screen mac running proper osx
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Now, how much will the iMac touch cost?
    1. junnyboy11's Avatar
      junnyboy11 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      Your logic is retarded.... U r saying apple wouldn't make a product like I described because it is to good and people would buy it?
      Sorry if I offended you in anyway and in did not mean what you said. What I meant was that if apple was going to make a iMac touch that you could detach I'm sure that they would not create the iPad how it is now, I believe that they would focus on that rather than create a iPad.
    1. poynter32's Avatar
      poynter32 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rpgpromaster View Post
      yeah, a company can only go so far with out ******* there winning streak up. they should just focus on improving what they have and not anything new in 2011

      because osx is optimized for desktop. ios is optimized for touch.

      there will most likely never be a touch screen mac running proper osx
      you obviously dont read very well because the iMac will use touch while running iOS on the iMac and OSX will use keyboard and mouse inputs
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Every software release, every press release, every new patent is proving my long-ago prediction --- Apple is moving to further restrict everything i*(including iMacs) to only Apple 'authorized' (aka: Apple get 40% of ALL software sales)

      And .... Apple come clean! These iDevice are computers (95%) 1st with phone (5%) capabilities 2nd. iDevices should be treated just like computers. 250K apps + the latest patents prove it!
    1. back9player's Avatar
      back9player -
      Quote Originally Posted by junnyboy11 View Post
      Sorry if I offended you in anyway and in did not mean what you said. What I meant was that if apple was going to make a iMac touch that you could detach I'm sure that they would not create the iPad how it is now, I believe that they would focus on that rather than create a iPad.
      if anything, the other dude's logic is "retarded"... it's not about making a product that will sell necessarily, at least not in this situation. it's about making a product that invalidates one that you have already established and have been making a killing, in regards to sales

      not to mention all the money you spent on R&D... all fancy pants radio testing room and all
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      it would probably sell like hot cakes
      Hahaha not sure if I've heard that one before

      Hmm an iMac running iOS.... When should I expect to see a jailbreak for this? haha (kidding I'm not going to be one of those people!)
    1. DJ_Psycho's Avatar
      DJ_Psycho -
      Sounds cool.. I'm rly interested in it now