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A future iMac could be made from a single sheet of curved glass, suggests Apple patent

Victoria Woollaston
27 Jan 2020
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The patent was filed by Apple engineers in May last year and awarded this month by the US Patent and Trademark Office

A future model of Apple's iMac could be made from a single sheet of glass if a recently awarded patent is anything to go by. 

 The patent, filed by Apple engineers in May last year and awarded this month by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes an "Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member" and depicts a Mac-style desktop computer with what looks like a keyboard built into the frame.

A later image, however, shows this keyboard having been removed and the keyboard and touchpad of a MacBook shown slotted into a hole in the curve of the glass frame.

This image also shows a kickstand/wedge akin to the one used on the Microsoft Surface range on the rear of the glass panel that would support the weight of the frame as well as potentially house the ports, peripherals and other components. 

As the patent, spotted by Apple Insider, explains: "Various components of the electronic device may be coupled to and/or positioned within the housing member and/or the support structure. For example, a processing unit of the electronic device."

It also appears that the wedge can be adjusted, meaning the frame could be tilted up or down depending on the user's seated position and height. 

"Many electronic devices include multiple distinct components in which input and output devices are provided," continues the patent. "For example, a display enclosure may be separate from an input device or keyboard enclosure. Additionally, the enclosure(s) of some traditional electronic devices may be formed from materials that are easily scratched or that provide an inferior tactile feel or visual appearance."

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It then adds that its patent proposes a single "housing member" that could embody all of these peripherals while looking more stylish than plastic models, and offering a scratch-resistant finish, not too dissimilar with the glass housing seen on iPhones and iPads. 

Of course, only because Apple has filed a patent for this design doesn't mean we'll definitely see an all-glass iMac, or if we do it may not look exactly like these files suggest. Apple even adds in the patent: "Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein with respect to these [images] is for explanatory purposes only and should not be construed as limiting."

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