The team at Patently Apple mined a patent granted today to find what may be future gold: more evidence that the Cupertino company is toying with the idea of touchscreen iMacs and MacBooks.
After slogging through patent no. 20100100947, titled “Scheme for Authenticating without Password Exchange,” they discovered a flowchart illustrating a touchscreen that could be associated with both a Macbook and a small desktop.
In a patent that even these document hounds defined “obscure,” the flowchart they sniffed out points to a touchscreen component not restricted to the iPhone.
The flowchart illustrates System 200 which “comprises a process 220 communicating with a chipset 222. Chipset 222 communicates with user interface 235 equipment. Example of such equipment include one or more of a keyboard, a microphone 237 (and potentially other intermediate processing equipment used in voice recognition), touch screen input 238, and mouse input 239. Chipset 222 also includes an interface to a display 240, and an interface to non-volatile storage 260. Non-volatile storage 260 can comprise hard drives, flash drives, optical storage, state-change memory, and any other types of storage that can retain information, often without power consumption.
Chipset 270 also communicates with a random access memory (RAM) 270, which can be used as a working memory during program execution. In some implementations non-volatile storage and RAM can be implemented partially or wholly using the same physical memory resources. In example system 200, chipset 222 also communicates with a data network interface 225 for data communications. Network interface 225 can implement any of a variety of technologies, from short range wireless (e.g., Bluetooth), to local area wireless (e.g., 802.11), to broadband wireless (e.g., Edge, CDMA-W, HSDPA, and so on). Network interface 225 also can comprise wired links, such as IEEE 1394, Ethernet and so on. In some implementations, the interface 225 also can be comprised in the interface to display 240, for example, for DVI or HDMI connections, where authentication may be desired.”
The combo of a keyboard, microphone, mouse, DVI, HDMI and touch “screen screams next generation desktop.” It specifically states that “such hardware, firmware and software can also be embodied in any of a variety of form factors and devices, including laptops, smart phones, small personal computers…”
This patent Further evidence of Apple’s January patent applications for touch screen iMacs and MacBooks.
No telling how far down the pipeline these touch screen devices are.
But the patents beg the questions: would you buy a touchscreen laptop or desktop? Or is touchscreen better suited to smaller devices like the iPhone and iPad?
Via Patently Apple