An iMac and a giant iPad all-in-one.
Between Windows 7's touch-friendly infrastructure, the current bevvy of smartphones available, and the barrage of upcoming Android tablets expected to launch over the next couple of quarters, it's clear that touch-mania is present right across the board. Yes, from desktops, to laptops, to portable devices like slates and phones, touch sensitive input has definitely made an impact on the industry as a whole. Now Apple intends to marry its mobile OS with its desktop OS to provide a tablet-like experience on users' desktop and laptop computers.
Patently Apple has dug up an Apple patent filed earlier this year and reports that the documentation shows how the Cupertino-based company plans to develop iMacs and MacBooks that turn into touch-based input devices when orientated a certain way. As illustrated by the diagram above, the iMac's stand would be flexible, allowing users to adjust the normally vertical screen to an almost horizontal position. Depending on the angle you have the display at, your computer will switch to the OS you've associated with that position.
This patent covers Apple desktops and laptops, and endeavors to give people the best of both input worlds by allowing them to use the touchscreen for certain applications, like drawing, and the traditional keyboard and mouse for word processing and other similar tasks.
Though not all patent filings mean a product is in development, previous rumors have suggested Apple was planning to incorporate a touchscreen interface into OSX, matching up with Patently Apple's find quite nicely.