Apple Patent Imagines iMac Made From a Single Sheet of Glass

Apple has all kinds of fanciful patents for imaginative devices that will likely never come to fruition, such as an iMac-like desktop computer made entirely of glass, which was shared last week in a patent published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Apple's patent describes an electronic device with an upper portion that serves as a display area, a lower portion that serves as an input area, and a transitional section that connects the two halves for a "continuous curved surface between the upper portion and the lower portion."


The lower section of the device rests on the desktop and is used for holding input devices, while the larger flat area serves as the display, with a stand at the back for propping it up and holding it in place. Given the thinness of the all-glass curved design of the Mac, the stand that holds it in place would be able to house necessary components and would also be able to be positioned differently to adjust the angle of the display.


The glass between the two sections of the device is described as flexible and able to change in angle between the display area and the input area. The input area is said to extend along a portion of the display area to form a "touchscreen-style display," and functionality such as wireless charging for other devices or data transfer capabilities could be included.


Apple separately describes multiple embodiments of the design, including one with a detachable, removable keyboard that fits over the lower portion of the glass design, which, when in place, allows the glass to detect the keystrokes.

An electronic device comprising: a slumped glass housing member defining: a continuous exterior surface of the electronic device; and an opening extending through the slumped glass housing member; a support structure coupled to the slumped glass housing member and configured to support the slumped glass housing member; a display coupled to an upper portion of the slumped glass housing member; and a keyboard having: a storage configuration in which the keyboard is positioned at least partially within the opening; and a use configuration in which the keyboard is extended from the opening.

This portion of the patent also highlights a camera that could be built into the glass of the enclosure, using an "optically transmissive material." Apple says that the design outlined in the patent could be made of glass, but the housing could also feature plastic or ceramic, as long as the material is light-transmissive.

The material for the design could have special features like scratch resistance, wireless charging support, or it could be able to allow touch and force to be detected through it. Apple also says biometric sensing capabilities could be included, detecting everything from fingerprints to heart rate, blood oxygenation levels, and temperature.

Because the patent describes both an "electronic device" and a "desktop computer," it suggests that this same design could be used for Macs or potentially an iOS device like an iPad. The patent goes into great detail about possible designs and functions, and further reading is available in the application on the US Patent and Trademark Office website.

Apple hasn't redesigned the iMac in some time, and although the patent appears to describe an iMac-like desktop computer, this probably isn't the implementation that we're going to see when Apple ultimately debuts a new ‌iMac‌ enclosure. Apple patents all manner of devices that never make it to production, but with curved glass and foldable devices becoming more popular, there is a possibility that we could see some of the functionality described in this patent at some point in the future.

Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
24 weeks ago
In a word... UGLY!!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 weeks ago
This could be amazing. I wonder how much the base will cost. :oops:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 weeks ago
Everyone complains apple aren't innovating then complain when they do.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 weeks ago
There was an episode of Black Mirror, first series I think, possibly about a woman who's partner died and he was a robot? Something like that. Anyways, in that episode they had some devices that looked similar to this idea and I remember looking at them at the time and thinking, "yep, that looks like a future iMac design". Good to see art and life still playing a game.

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 weeks ago
good luck changing the viewing angle

EDIT: before you type out your reply, yes i did read it and i stand by my comment.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 weeks ago
Why?

it looks like 90’s-era.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Apple Pays Samsung an Estimated $950 Million for Missing OLED Panel Purchase Targets

Monday July 13, 2020 10:03 am PDT by
Apple in the second quarter of 2020 paid Samsung approximately $950 million for not meeting OLED panel purchase goals established in agreements between the two companies, according to display analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants. Samsung last week shared guidance on revenue and operating profit for the second quarter of 2020, which included a one-time gain related to its display...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...

SoftBank Considering Possible Sale of Arm Holdings as Apple Gears Up for Arm-Based Macs

Monday July 13, 2020 2:00 pm PDT by
SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that include a full or partial sale or a public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank is working with Goldman Sachs Group as an advisor, and the explorations are at an early stage. The Wall Street Journal says that it's unknown how much interest there would be in Arm from financial or industry...

Rumor Suggests New Apple App for Windows Could Be Coming Soon

Tuesday July 14, 2020 1:54 am PDT by
Apple could be working towards the release of a new app for Windows 10, according to a report this week from an Italian website. The blog Aggiornamenti Lumia suggests that an app from Apple is "coming soon" to the Microsoft Store, but stops short of providing additional details. Apple still maintains a Windows version of the iTunes app, which has been discontinued on Mac and replaced by...

Deals: Amazon Taking $400 Off 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Starting at New Low Price of $1,999.99 for 512GB

Monday July 13, 2020 5:34 am PDT by
Amazon has introduced a new low price on Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro today, including both 512GB and 1TB models. Starting with the 512GB model (2.6GHz 6-Core, 16GB RAM), you can get this notebook for $1,999.99, down from $2,399.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....