Apple patent shows a touch screen desktop computer

With all of the touch devices to come out of Apple recently such as the Magic Trackpad, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, it only makes sense to bring that touch functionality to the desktop market. Patently Apple found this European patent that shows the familiar form of the iMac, however with an adjustable stand and apparently touch screen capability. There is also evidence of an accelerometer, which might be used to change the interface into a touch based one that is akin to the look of iOS.

New York Times blogger Nick Bilton wrote earlier this year about how engineers from Apple told him that they were working on simplified touch interfaces like iOS however for a desktop. Please note that iOS would not overtake Mac OS X, it would just work on a layer above it, somewhat like Front Row.

Simplified touch interface shown in patent.

For the applications that may work better in a touch situation, these computers will have that new functionality. If there are other applications that work better with a keyboard and mouse, then you will be able to use them in standard mode as well. This is all adding features to what you have, iOS isn't replacing OS X, but enhancing it for greater capabilities.

The company's patent also shows a MacBook that could be transformed into a tablet which would switch the interface from the current desktop experience to an iOS interface when in tablet mode. Apple's MacBook tablet patent would also be an ideal device for schooling as the smooth transitions from OS X to iOS could allow for hand written notes (think math class) and traditional typing for lecture based studies. 

Image Source patentlyapple.com

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40 Comments

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I really hope the produce one of those macbooks, that they do it quick, and release it here.

Just hope it will be a full featured macbook, with dvd drive, nvidia graphics and a proper cpu, not some kind of netbook... If it would turn out to be a netbook i would just keep my old laptop and get an ipad...

Leonick said,
I really hope the produce one of those macbooks, that they do it quick, and release it here.

Just hope it will be a full featured macbook, with dvd drive, nvidia graphics and a proper cpu, not some kind of netbook... If it would turn out to be a netbook i would just keep my old laptop and get an ipad...

Better yet, just get a touch screen laptop for half the price

Why would anyone want to switch an OS???

I am more thinking they are trying to define dynamic switching of the user interface from a desktop to a tablet like environment (based on the orientation of the device). Switching an OS would mean the degradation of one of the OS's whilst in a certain mode, certain features would not be available.
Surely they mean dynamic switching of input method only? The mind just boggles, maybe they are trying to sneak this in to cover this in their patent at a later date...And then stifle any possible competition, that allows dynamic sensing of input dependent on orientation of the device.

yellowperil said,
Why would anyone want to switch an OS???

I am more thinking they are trying to define dynamic switching of the user interface from a desktop to a tablet like environment (based on the orientation of the device). Switching an OS would mean the degradation of one of the OS's whilst in a certain mode, certain features would not be available.
Surely they mean dynamic switching of input method only? The mind just boggles, maybe they are trying to sneak this in to cover this in their patent at a later date...And then stifle any possible competition, that allows dynamic sensing of input dependent on orientation of the device.

Agree with you, one thing I would hate for this. Is that what if you wanted to tilt-it for using a paint application or something. But wanted the full OS X look, not the iOS style look. That would be kinda annoying. Unless a solution would just install Windows 7 on it :L

TechDudeGeorge said,

Unless a solution would just install Windows 7 on it :L

yeah...right...n better is get a HP, Dell or Acer touch laptop or desktop

I few weeks ago, I read on here in another article, forums, or something that Microsoft was applying for a patent for switching between the main OS and the reduced OS for saving power. So the computer (device) would give the user the option of running a full blown OS or Windows 7 Mobile or whatever they use. So I guess it is a race to see who gets the patent first.

Power saving, multi touch, call it what you want but it is the same. Full OS to reduced OS.

BillyJack said,
I few weeks ago, I read on here in another article, forums, or something that Microsoft was applying for a patent for switching between the main OS and the reduced OS for saving power. So the computer (device) would give the user the option of running a full blown OS or Windows 7 Mobile or whatever they use. So I guess it is a race to see who gets the patent first.

Power saving, multi touch, call it what you want but it is the same. Full OS to reduced OS.

what domz said:
"Also you don't patent ideas, you patent a specific way of implementation"

how did what you read switch between the two? the way apple is doing it (based on the image) is the user changes the desktop monitor's angle. ive seen a few touch enabled pc's but they all had monitors that you couldnt change the angle on.. atleast not at that extreme.

Ci7 said,
and they will say Microsoft stole their idea (the last one about OS switching)

this kind of thing microsoft already have...Windows XP Mode for Windows 7

So... Minimum cost of this... Around £1500+ Seeing as a normal (Under-Specced) iMac is £1000. This will likely cost, with Apple's excuse of it being a iTouchscreen so costing extra.

I'd rather go buy an all in one touch PC for around £400-£500, yeah it might not have iOS , but it can run even better apps, have a great interface etc.

Even better, buy an iPad too. Total £1000 (Still cheaper than the Touch iMac). And it's even portable.

TechDudeGeorge said,
So... Minimum cost of this... Around £1500+ Seeing as a normal (Under-Specced) iMac is £1000. This will likely cost, with Apple's excuse of it being a iTouchscreen so costing extra.

I'd rather go buy an all in one touch PC for around £400-£500, yeah it might not have iOS , but it can run even better apps, have a great interface etc.

Even better, buy an iPad too. Total £1000 (Still cheaper than the Touch iMac). And it's even portable.

exactly my HP TouchSmart with Windows 7 is just working fine

Wow... iOneNote anyone?

rofl.

half baked idea that will be gobbled by the masses if it ever hits market.

/Tucks HP TS tm2 under arm and walks away.

Umm, hasn't this already been done by like, HP and others? How can they patent something someone else already did?

shakey said,
Umm, hasn't this already been done by like, HP and others? How can they patent something someone else already did?

When did HP do this? Ive seen touch enabled PCs and Full OS tablets but not what this patent is reportedly describing?

edit: unless you are talking about something other than switching between to OS's which is what the patent is about?

Edited by ILikeTobacco, Aug 24 2010, 5:51pm :

ILikeTobacco said,

When did HP do this? Ive seen touch enabled PCs and Full OS tablets but not what this patent is reportedly describing?

edit: unless you are talking about something other than switching between to OS's which is what the patent is about?

I missed the part about this being all about switching between os's.... still don't see it.
But i'm talking about this http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/touchsmart/

shakey said,

I missed the part about this being all about switching between os's.... still don't see it.
But i'm talking about this http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/touchsmart/

" Please note that iOS would not overtake Mac OS X, it would just work on a layer above it,"

and says it even more clearly: "Apple's MacBook tablet patent would also be an ideal device for schooling as the smooth transitions from OS X to iOS could allow for hand written notes (think math class) and traditional typing for lecture based studies. "

Edited by ILikeTobacco, Aug 24 2010, 6:21pm :

ILikeTobacco said,

what hp is doing there is running a program that has a better touch interface than windows. the patent above has to do with running an OS on top of another OS.

so like win3.1/95 on top of DOS in the 90s? XD

treemonster said,
so like win3.1/95 on top of DOS in the 90s? XD

basically lol. actually i was running DOS on top of windows 7 the other day to play some old school games

MacBook tablet patent would also be an ideal device for schooling as the smooth transitions from OS X to iOS could allow for hand written notes (think math class)
that assuming this will ever allow use of a stylus for touch input, something apple seems to have avoided in all of it's touch products.

MacBook tablet patent would also be an ideal device for schooling as the smooth transitions from OS X to iOS could allow for hand written notes (think math class)

Don't existing tablet PC's already allow you to do that?

mindscape said,

Don't existing tablet PC's already allow you to do that?

Not exactly. The existing tablet PC's dont transition between two different OS. The patent is (from what i am understanding) going from OSX to iOS when you flip over the screen. The tablets I have messed with didnt actually change anything when you switched from normal laptop view to desktop view. Touch worked regardless and the visual view didn't change. It is basically saying, when in laptop mode, display Windows 7. When in tablet mode, go to windows mobile.

mindscape said,

Don't existing tablet PC's already allow you to do that?

Also you don't patent ideas, you patent a specific way of implementation

treemonster said,
that assuming this will ever allow use of a stylus for touch input, something apple seems to have avoided in all of it's touch products.

well since this includes the full OSX on it, would only be a matter of time before someone wrote the software for it.

ILikeTobacco said,

Not exactly. The existing tablet PC's dont transition between two different OS. The patent is (from what i am understanding) going from OSX to iOS when you flip over the screen. The tablets I have messed with didnt actually change anything when you switched from normal laptop view to desktop view. Touch worked regardless and the visual view didn't change. It is basically saying, when in laptop mode, display Windows 7. When in tablet mode, go to windows mobile.

y i need to go to windows mobile or iphone mode?