The website Patently Apple has uncovered some European patent filings filed in September 2009 and first published in January 2010. The document outlines a system for an iMac touch, a device that acts like a standard desktop computer in one orientation and a tablet in another.
The idea is that when the device is in the upright position, like a standard iMac or flatscreen monitor, it can be controlled using a mouse and keyboard. When reclined, an accelerometer will trigger advanced multi-touch mode and switch the operating system from Mac OS X to iOS.
In addition to seamlessly switching modes/operating systems, the patent information also details a system that would allow peripheral control of an iPhone or iPad from the iMac touch.
The idea of the two operating systems co-existing and switching seamlessly based on orientation is awesome for a desktop and even more killer for a netbook. I love both my MacBook Pro and my iPad, but if I could combine them into one super device, that would be the best of all worlds.
Some of the information in these patents go back to 2007, so it is clear Apple has been hard at work perfecting touch for the desktop for quite some time. The company’s most recent accessory, the Magic Trackpad, is just another indication that the company is slowly but surely aiming to bring touch to the desktop.
What do you think of the patent documents? Would you be interested in a dual-function iMac or MacBook?
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