A patent filed by Apple suggests an iMac Touch might be in the works.
The idea would be that a user could switch between a mouse-like device or use the touch screen.
Apple has been moving users to the ‘touch’ mode with the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad – and even the recent Magic Trackpad.
A European patent filed by Apple in January suggests that the company is thinking about an iMac-like touchscreen computer that could shift between touch and stylus input.
The patent, discovered by Patently Apple, only describes the possibility of shifting between two input modes. However, the site speculated that the patent could augur an iPad-like device that might move between a Mac OS and the iPad’s iOS at a gesture or other user input.
The patent cited by the site does not mention operating systems, however.
“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, is described,” the patent abstract reads. “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.”
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