Apple certainly helped shape the mobile space by popularizing multitouch screens on smartphones and tablets, but can it do the same for desktop computing, too? The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application that describes a desktop computer — likely the iMac — with a touchscreen display. Dell, HP and plenty of other firms have introduced all-in-one PCs with touchscreens, of course, but Apple’s invention may make some applications more intuitive. Read on for more.
According to Patently Apple, Apple’s patent describes a series of hybrid knob and slider controls that could be used, for example, in a music application for controlling input levels. “The visual augmentation could include displaying an outline and/or fill region (e.g. a color or pattern fill) around the knob element, displaying text labels for minimum and maximum range limit values and displaying a slider element with the knob element,” Patently Apple explained. “The slider element could include a fill bar to indicate the current value of the knob control.”
A touchscreen iMac could definitely be a valuable tool for artists, musicians, engineers and architects who might be able to interact with their creations using touch instead of a mouse and pointer, but need more power or a larger display than the iPad.