Apple's Curved Single-Glass iMac Patent Could Point to Renewed Focus on Design

The new design would break Apple's recent trend of safe, predictable designs.

Apple made its name with its game-changing designs. Whether it's the iPhone, iPod or original iMac, the company's reputation was built on minimalistic outside-the-box designs. 

Unfortunately, the company's latest output hasn't quite lived up to that inspired original standard. With the prolific release schedule of new iPhones, each new model seems more and more like the last.

However, if a new patent filing by Apple is anything to go by, the famous Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak-founded company might be looking to change things up again.

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A curved glass-sheet iMac?

The patent application, first spotted by Patently Apple, was filed in May last year. The filing details how the Mac computer's "display area" and "input area" could be built into a curved glass surface.

As can be seen in the image above, the single sheet of curved glass would house a screen and a keyboard. Of course, left to its own devices, a curved sheet of glass would rock back and forth like a rocking chair. That's what the wedge, pictured below, is used for.

Apple's Curved Single-Glass iMac Patent Could Point to Renewed Focus on Design
Source: USPTO

The design is ambitious, to say the least. While this exact design might never hit Apple stores, it points to a new approach that more closely resembles the risk-taking Apple of yore. Maybe that cheese grater design was a hint of things to come. 

Apple's Curved Single-Glass iMac Patent Could Point to Renewed Focus on Design
Source: USPTO

The filing leaves open the possibility for a physical keyboard as well as a virtual one. It also goes into Galaxy Fold territory, suggesting that the single piece of glass could fold, making it easier to store the computer away.

An ambitious design

Perhaps the standout idea in the patent application is the one that shows how a MacBook could be fitted, or docked, into the back of the iMac-like computer. It leaves us wondering all the possibilities.

The Nintendo Switch-like concept would, in theory, allow users to pass their MacBook's keyboard through a hole in the glass sheet. The laptop would then output its screen to the iMac's display.

 

Apple's Curved Single-Glass iMac Patent Could Point to Renewed Focus on Design
Source: USPTO

Let's hope this patent application for an “Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member” really is an indicator of the types of products we'll see at Apple's next big unveiling, and that the company is truly looking to shake things up.

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