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Wireless 'Desk Free' Computer System with Projection Display Detailed in New Apple Patent

Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) detailing a wireless "desk-free" computer system that consists of only a computer housing with a built-in unique smart projector including advanced capabilities.

The patent, which was filed in 2008, details a computer system housing a unique projector with advanced technology that would hold the same power as a desktop or laptop. The smart projector would also allow the "computer" to be set up anywhere, allowing any suitable surface to be used for a display screen.

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The computer systems and methods described herein may achieve a synergy that is not possible with conventional computers and projectors, which may be realized in terms of the operating system, system interaction, and/or performance. This may stem, for example, from the computer system's knowledge of the computer system's projection output and the surface on which it is projecting. The operating system may be designed to include larger icons and/or text and/or a different style based on the knowledge that the user is likely further away from the displayed image than conventional computer experiences.
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In detail, the projector would also be configurable to run solely for certain purposes, such as turning off all components except the DVD drive and the projector to run as a mobile cinema, or turning off certain components to run like a normal computer. The projector itself would also be able to automatically calibrate and perform keystoning on itself to provide the best picture possible based on sensor data, even going as far to color correct and discard lesser pixels to display a high-resolution image.

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Meanwhile, Apple describes the computer system as also allowing for peripherals such as a wireless mouse or keyboard to be connected, with the device as a whole being powered in a number of potential ways, such as having a single power cord to connect to a power supply or through the inclusion of an inductive wireless charge system or integrated batteries.

It is unknown whether Apple plans to create such a product or not, but the company has researched unique projector technology before. A patent in 2011 revealed the company's interest in developing a pico projector that would be able to take advantage of built-in cameras to automatically recognize and adjust gestures and shadows, which would result in interactive uses for situations such as presentations. Apple also currently includes a section for presentation accessories in its online store, where it sells various projectors from manufacturer Epson.

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago
So is this actually a new or revolutionary idea, or is it simply like putting a Mac Mini and a projector into one box?
Rating: 7 Votes
13 months ago
5 years ago.

A lot changes in technology in 5 years. Example: the relevance of projectors today.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 months ago
Oh good, another patent that will never see the light of day. (I'm going to look like an idiot if this gets announced)
Rating: 5 Votes
13 months ago
Future Apple TV?
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
The projector that just works. How very Apple. Today's projectors (or at least the ones I've tried) are a PITA to set up.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
I began to use my smartphone as a computer years ago, and today have a Galaxy Note 3, a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and a tiny ASUS LED Video Projector. I hook the lot together using the Samsung MHL microUSB cable to pump 1080P video via HDMI into the projector, fire up the keyboard and Bob's your uncle. The keystoning in the projector works a treat. The whole lot take up less space than the smallest MacBook or Windows laptop. Best of all, the 'computer' components (the Snapdragon 800 powered Note 3), fits in my pocket, shoots 4K video, takes 13MP photos and I can talk on it.

(Typing this on my MacBook Pro 15" Retina with 1TB of SSD, because until Adobe port their suite across to Android or the cloud, a Mac still has it's uses! Namely, creating the content that I display on the aforementioned setup.)
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
I can't see how this is a new thing? As in Didn't samsung do a projector phone before? And when I was at Uni my lecturer had a DVD player built in to his projector (or the other-way round depending on how you look at it!)
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

Oh good, another patent that will never see the light of day. (I'm going to look like an idiot if this gets announced)

Actually, most patents never see the light of day in a shipping product.

Heck, I think about 95% of the rumors on this specific website are wrong. So, if you see it posted at MacRumors, the odds are heavily in favor of it being a falsehood.

I think there is a pretty good chance you'll look like an idiot a few years down the road... :p

Unlikely.

Note that this patent was filed in 2008 and no such product materialized in the intervening five years. It is even less likely now to see this on a store shelf. Patents are often filed a couple of years after the initial concept emerges. It is entirely possible that this idea was conceived in 2005-2006.

My own personal guess is that some time in 2006 or 2007, a prototype or two were built. The technology was assessed and the decision was made not to pursue the concept any further. The findings of the experiment were mostly documented in the patent, as well as possible some other concepts that weren't implemented in the prototype.

Of course, we'll never know the true story behind this patent.

Remember, MacRumors is not a news site. It is mostly a technology gossip blog.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
I'd be very concerned about the heat in that little box. It'd need a whole bunch of fans.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

I'd be very concerned about the heat in that little box. It'd need a whole bunch of fans.



Apple has plenty of fans!
Rating: 2 Votes

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