A newly uncovered patent application from Apple shows an iMac-like, all-in-one desktop with a touchscreen and adjustable hinge. Is this the iMac touch?
A report from Apple fan-site Patently Apple has a prolific and detailed showcase of the documents filed by the technology giant. These images clearly indicate a touchscreen incarnation of Apple's all-in-one desktop system, the iMac.
In a bid to solve some of the problems that have inhibited the comfortable use of touchscreen desktops, this potential new iMac has strategically placed hinges (known as a 'Flex Base') that will let the user adjust the screen for their better comfort.
We can't help noticing the resemblance of this iMac to the Pixar's unfeasibly cute anthropomorphic lamp, Luxo -- sparking a pleasant little reminiscinsce of watching the first Toy Story and eating Smarties from a cylindrical tube. Just us? Okay.
Some might say Apple has something of a trigger-happy attitude to patenting, having attempted to claim intellectual property on several things that they either already widespread, never released or quite clearly aren't its own -- such as multi-touch, Mac OS X 3D and even the letter i.
Given the growth of touchscreens on every conceivable object in recent years, this is probably more than simply Apple locking down ideas with vapourware patents -- it's quite likely that we will see this iMac before the year is out.
The 'Flex Base' is a delightfully simple addition that could solve nearly all of the problems associated with touchscreen desktops -- arms don't bend that way after all. So it's possible Apple could spark off rapid growth in yet another market.