When we posted yesterday about a new Apple patent hinting at future touchscreen Macs, one of the excellent points made in our comments section was that one reason behind Apple’s reluctance to install touchscreen panels in their non-mobile computers is the ergonomics factor: it’s just not comfortable to constantly be leaning forward to poke and prod a screen.
A new patent from Apple shows how future touchscreen Macs might just solve the ergonomic dilemma. The patent describes a touchscreen iMac with a swiveling display that rotates into a more appropriate, horizontal configuration for multitouch. A built-in accelerometer could automatically determine the display’s orientation and trigger the appropriate interface or even operating system: for example, OS X in an upright position, iOS when prone.
At the end of the day, I don’t buy that a swiveling display is how Apple would go about solving desktop touchscreen ergonomic problems. It seems a little too finnicky as a solution. Still, at least Apple’s thinking about the problem, and if Cupertino’s history with multitouch mobile devices is anything to go by… when they finally do an iMac Touch, they’ll do it right.