Just two days ago, Apple filed a patent for a multitouch MacBook that uses the same display as an iPad. Many of you figured that the idea of a touch MacBook was pretty far-fetched, but Apple has once again filed a patent for a multitouch computer. This time, the patent describes using an iMac both normally with a mouse and keyboard, and by touch. Touch PCs are nothing new, but most of them use half-baked software that never feels quite right. Knowing Apple, if they did this, they would do it right.
“While touch-based input is well suited to many applications, conventional styles of input, such as a mouse/keyboard input may be preferred in other applications. Therefore it may be desirable for some devices to provide for touch-based input as well as mouse/keyboard input. However, a UI being displayed by the display device during a touch-based input mode might not be suited for use during a mouse/keyboard input mode, and vice versa.”
The patent goes on the show how the iMac could be used as normal when the display is upright, but transform into a touch friendly mode when the display is laid flat. This hybrid interface makes much more sense than trying to navigate the vanilla OS X UI with your fingers.
I’m still extremely skeptical about all of this, but there really isn’t a reason for Apple not to do this, as it will make the OS X/iOS transition smoother. As I said in my previous post, Apple has shown huge interest in making iOS the “operating system of the future”, and this patent application proves it. I’m sure it will still be a long time before anything of substance surfaces, but I am confident that something eventually will, because, quite frankly, this needs to happen.