Apple Working On Touch-Enabled iMac And MacBooks?
The application was filed with the United States Patent Office earlier this year and describes a system of transitioning between a high resolution mouse-input mode and a low resolution touch interface by a simple change in orientation of the display screen.
The patent application describes how Apple plans to incorporate transition between Mac OS X and an iPhone-like interface (iOS):
"A change of orientation of a touch screen between a first orientation and a second orientation is detected. Transitioning between the two input modes and corresponding user interfaces (UIs) is based on the detected change of orientation. A change of orientation can be detected with one or more sensors, such as an accelerometer, position sensors, etc. Transitioning from one mode to another can include modifying an item displayed in the UI of the one mode into a corresponding item displayed in the UI of the other mode. The modifying can include enlarging/reducing, obscuring/unobscuring, moving, etc. For example, an item can be obscured by the visual effect of sliding it off of the screen."
It may be noted that this patent application is only an idea and hence may not actually come to fruition. However, it is also worth noting that Taiwanese publication, DigiTimes had speculated on the launch of a similar device back in January this year. In the report, DigiTimes analyst Steve Shen had written that Apple would be launching a 22" touch-enabled all-in-one PC by the end of this year.
Devin Coldewey from CrunchGear points out, a technology like this will require Apple to make a major deviation from its current aesthetic standards, since such a device will require a thicker screen to accomodate the touch interface besides having to contend with higher power consumption, heat generation and weight.
But it seems like a natural transition for Apple to introduce touch-enabled iMac and Macbooks from a customer point of view. It should probably be easy for Apple to add iOS as a layer on top of Mac OS X, similar to Apple’s Front Row user interface used to watch movies and listen to music on a Mac.
It will be interesting to see if Apple manages to pull this one off. The idea of a touch-enabled iMac and MacBook has got us excited. What do you think of an iOS-convertible MacBook device? Will you go for one? Write to us in the comments below.