The design of the iMac has largely remained unchanged for more than a decade now. The machine has a hanging style display connected to a stand with all the components stacked behind the display.
However, it appears as if Apple is considering shaking things up a bit. A patent filed by Apple and spotted by Patently Apple suggests that the company is working on a radically new iMac with a curved glass.
The patent reveals the display and the keyboard as part of the single sheet of curved glass. However, it also suggests that the keyboard can be detached from the glass to move it to a different place. All the hardware elements of the computer would be stacked into a box behind the display.
The Verge notes that the amount of “curved glass” mentioned in the patent of the iMac if released would make it the highest amount of “curved glass” in any Apple device. Also, the fact that Apple is considering building the keyboard into the all in one design is quite striking. However, it is nice that Apple is also planning to offer the ability to detach the keyboard as not every customer would like the distance.
The glass slab also shows that alongside the keyboard, Apple plans to add a touch sensitive surface for a trackpad similar to that of the Magic Trackpad (the optional Magic Mouse alternative). Apart from the design choices, the patent also outlines Apple’s ambitious plans to allow the docking on MacBooks into the iMac’s body to act as an external display or also possibly for data transfer.
The iMac is in dire need of change and it appears as if the future is not too far off. There is nothing particularly wrong with the current generation iMac but the design is starting to show its signs of age.