Awesome macOS concept imagines the AR iMac of the future

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AR Mac
Could this be the Mac setup of tomorrow?
Photo: Dominik Hofacker

A designer’s radical new concept shows what future Macs could look like if augmented reality glasses replaced the computers’ physical screens.

Dominik Hofacker, a 24-year-old designer who just landed a job at Facebook, calls his well-thought-out virtual Mac concept “macOS reality.”

“With AR glasses on the verge of release, and eventually replacing our smartphones for almost all tasks, I asked myself, ‘How does productivity look like in the future?'” he told Cult of Mac. “GlassOS that runs on Apple Glasses is one thing, but nobody has ever thought about the next generation of Macs.”

Reminiscent of the futuristic interface seen in movies like Minority Report, Hofacker’s virtual Mac would allow the user to scroll through and move around multiple virtual displays.

Lots of people currently run dual-screen setups. But Hofacker’s concept depicts different apps as entirely separate virtual windows floating above a pristine desktop.

“The most compelling aspect is that, instead of using 2D screens to display content, we [could instead] fully rely on AR content in 3D space,” he said. “[That means] macOS moving from a 2D operating system to a spatial one. There are many advantages with this. My personal favorite is that, with macOS reality, the world is your display.”

He said his AR Mac interface would offer much more efficient use of space.

“Your most important information will always be right in front of you instead of having 50 stacked windows, which is what we are used to with traditional Macs,” he said.

Here’s an example of Hofacker’s virtual Mac in action:

AR Macs: Perfect for remote work setups

In a world of remote working, Hofacker thinks virtual Macs coupled with AR glasses like the long-rumored Apple Glass would prove especially useful.

“Hardware distribution of monitors is costly and a hassle,” he said. “Why not just use glasses and have even more benefits? Seeing all your most important info at all times [could be great for professionals such as] financial analysts. The aspect of having 3D depth is much better for everyone working on all kinds of physical products.”

Every Apple fan could, of course, harbor their own sci-fi idea of how they’d like future interfaces to work. But Hofacker’s idea looks pretty well thought through.

The AR Mac interface of the future?

Apple is heavily rumored to be working on augmented reality glasses. CEO Tim Cook has been outspoken about his excitement about all things AR. And Apple already holds patents for ideas such as a virtual MacBook keyboard.

While Hofacker doesn’t work for Apple and is, therefore, essentially doing the UI version of fanfic, he’s not exactly an industry outsider. Currently completing his master’s degree in experience design at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia, he recently accepted a full-time offer to join Facebook Reality Labs in June.

This is a guy with a bright future ahead of him. Who knows: He could be designing Apple interfaces a decade from now!

Would you want an AR Mac?

You can see much more about Hofacker’s AR Mac concept, including plenty of captivating GIFs that really show off the interactions with his virtual interface, on his macOS reality webpage.

What do you think of Hofacker’s concept? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.