Next iMac to transform to a touchscreen?

Patent shows tipping screen switching between mouse and touchscreen modes

Future versions of iMacs could feature innovative Transformer-like technology letting the machines switch between a standard display and an ergonomically-friendly touchpad.

The concept is simplicity itself, involving not much more than a hinged stand that offers a really shallow pitch when in tablet model, according to a patent filed in January but only recently uncovered by website Patently Apple.

The patent application also suggests that the action of pivoting the screen between vertical and flat would toggle between operating systems – and although specific OSes aren’t mentioned it looks likely that the machines could use OSX when in desktop mode before switching to iOS for its tablet function.

screen

The patent outlines plans for “transitioning between a high-resolution input mode, such as a mouse-based interface, and a low-resolution input mode, such as a touch-based interface”.

“Transitioning between the two input modes and corresponding user interfaces (UIs) is based on the detected change of orientation," the patent application said. “A change of orientation can be detected with one or more sensors, such as an accelerometer [or] position sensors.

“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.”

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