New Mac Touch Patent Surfaces, Shows User Interface Manipulation by Touch
A new patent for what looks like a touch screen Mac has surfaced hot off the heals of the extended Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 demos at WWDC (PS: watch the keynote if you haven’t already, it’s a great walkthrough of both new OS’s).
This patent is a clear indicator that Apple is at least exploring the possibility of bringing touch screens to the Mac platform, or at least to a desktop OS that is more advanced than iOS. The discovery was made by PatentlyApple, who suggests that “with OS X Lion slowly adding iOS features, we may one day see such a system emerge” as fully touch capable touch screen Mac.
Diagrams from the approved patent clearly show a user interface and file system similar to that in Mac OS X that is being manipulated by touch:
This is not the first touch screen Mac patent to be granted to Apple. Last year, patents for a touch screen MacBook and a very interesting hybrid iMac touch that ran both iOS and Mac OS X concurrently appeared, both indications that Apple is exploring the realm of touch far beyond just the new gestures in Mac OS X Lion.
Is the distant future of the Mac platform touch based? I think there will be an inevitable inclusion of touch screens into the Mac lineup in some form down the road, but it’s hard to know how that will come to fruition. Will it be a culmination of the wide variety of ideas shown in Apple patents, or something unique entirely? Time will tell.