Apple has won a patent for an exciting futuristic iMac with a cool glass form factor
Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent for a next-generation all-in-one (AIO) desktop iMac made with a continuous glass body. The design features a number of twists with alternate ideas, including a similarly shaped desk accessory designed for a MacBook.
Without a doubt, this is one of the coolest patented Apple device concepts ever. One can only hope that Apple will one day have the courage to deliver such a sexy beast to the market in order to bring back some of the magic of Apple design,
The patent issued by Apple covers a new vision for a future iMac/desktop PC consisting of a glass enclosure that includes a continuous surface defined by the top, bottom and transition portion.
This future iMac/desktop computer may include a display coupled to the glass housing member and configured to provide visual output at the display area. The electronic device may include a keypad coupled to the glass housing member and configured to detect input at the input area. Alternative designs show the keyboard to be separable.
A desktop computer may include a display, an input device operatively coupled to the display, and a sheet of glass. The glass sheet may include a first portion defining a flat display area, a second portion defining a flat entry area, and a curved portion between the flat display area and the flat entry area. The desktop computer may include a support structure coupled to the glass sheet and configured to support the glass sheet.
Apple clarifies that the glass case could be made with transparent materials, coated, painted, or otherwise treated to produce a non-transparent (eg, opaque) component; in such cases, the material may still qualify as transparent, even though the material may be part of an opaque component. Translucent components can be formed by producing a textured or frosted surface on an otherwise transparent material (eg, clear glass). Translucent materials can also be used, such as translucent polymers, translucent ceramics or the like.
The housing element may have properties that enable the various input and output functions. For example, the housing element (eg, the optically transmissive element) can be strong and can have high scratch resistance, and can provide a surface finish having a superior look and/or tactile feel compared to other materials or components.
Apple’s patent FIG. 3 below we see a continuous glass iMac/desktop PC design that includes an OLED display, an integrated keyboard and left and right touch input areas as well as a seamless dual trackpad construction; FIG. 11E shows the rear of the new device with ports and speaker. The device could also serve as a home automation system.
Apple’s patent FIG. 4B below notes that housing element #450, and in particular the part of the entry zone #455 in the lower part #454, can be shaped to define physically distinct key regions.
In various embodiments, the housing member may include recesses, protrusions, borders, or other physical features on its exterior surface that define and/or delineate distinct key regions #459 and that can be felt by a user when typing or touching the input. Region.
For example, a glass case element may be thermoformed, depressed, hot pressed, or otherwise processed to form an array of raised key regions (e.g., protrusions, contoured key regions, etc.) that define the key regions of a keyboard.
Raised key regions can provide a more familiar keyboard surface to users, as individual key regions can have a similar shape and feel to conventional movable keys. Additionally, a user may be able to type faster and with fewer errors because they can feel the borders and boundaries of each key region and do not need to look at the keyboard to align their fingers with the keys. . The ability to feel distinct key regions can also help prevent a user’s hands from unintentionally drifting out of position while typing.
An accessory design that supports MacBooks
Apple’s patent FIG. 12C below is a MacBook desk accessory where the keyboard slides into the desk accessory opening to provide users with a larger screen to work with at home or in the office.
An alternative foldable design
Apple’s patent FIG. 20B below Electronic Device #2000 can be configured to fold or otherwise flex for storage, transportation, or other functionality.
This is the second patent issued by Apple for this invention. The latest patent issued by Apple adds 20 new patent claims to better protect the invention from patent trolls and competitors. Below are just three of the new patent claims:
New (Claim #1): “An electronic device comprising: a glass housing member comprising: a top portion defining a first region of a continuous exterior surface of the electronic device; a lower portion defining a second region of the continuous outer surface of the electronic device; and a transition portion extending between the upper portion and the lower portion and defining a third region of the continuous outer surface of the electronic device, the transition portion configured to bend in response to the lower portion being hinged between a first position angular with respect to the upper part and a second angular position with respect to the upper part; a display coupled to the glass housing member and configured to provide graphics output at a display area extending from the top and at least partially through the transition portion; and an input device coupled to the glass housing member and configured to detect input at an input region extending from the bottom portion and at least partially through the transition portion.
New (Claim #10)“An electronic device comprising: a glass housing element comprising: a first sheet of glass defining a continuous front exterior surface of the glass housing element; and a second sheet of glass defining a rear exterior surface of the glass housing member, the first and second glass sheets defining: an upper portion of the glass housing member; a lower part of the glass housing member; and a transition portion of the glass housing member extending between the upper portion and the lower portion, the transition portion configured to bend to change an angular position between the upper portion and the lower portion; a display positioned between the first sheet of glass and the second sheet of glass and configured to provide graphical output at the top; and an input device positioned between the first sheet of glass and the second sheet of glass and configured to detect an entry at the bottom.
New (Claim #16): “An electronic device comprising: a glass housing member comprising: a first portion at least partially defining a continuous outer surface of the electronic device; a second portion at least partially defining the continuous outer surface of the electronic device; and a third portion extending between the first portion and the second portion and at least partially defining the continuous outer surface of the electronic device, the third portion configured to make it possible to vary an angular position between the first portion and the second portion; and a touch display coupled to the glass housing member, the touch display including a first display portion positioned at the first portion of the glass housing member, a second display portion positioned at of the second part of the glass housing element, and a third display part positioned at the third part of the glass housing element. »
For more details and to review the remaining 17 new patent claims, see patent 11,397,449 issued by Apple.
Excitement over this new iMac concept has prompted a number of renderers to release images of what the design might translate to. Our coverage graph and those below are from Yanko design. You can see a variety of additional renders on their site here.
(Click on the images below to enlarge)
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