The so-dubbed "desk-free" computer would jettison the monitor and use a projection system to display the image on a wall or other surface.
Would you buy a computer with no case or monitor or tangled cables to deal with? Apple has proposed such a system in a newly-awarded patent.
Granted on Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent called "Computer systems and methods with projected display" describes a "desk-free" computer that would dispense with a case, monitor, and wired cables. Instead, the entire package would be housed in a projection system that would include all the necessary components and display the image on a wall or other surface.
Similar to an all-in-one PC, Apple's projection system would house the CPU and all the other internal parts. A wireless network interface and speakers could also be integrated, eliminating the need for any external peripherals. Onboard sensors would control the projected image to display the optimum color, resolution, and size.
The system would also combine elements of a desktop and laptop, displaying a large screen but offering some degree of portability so you can use it beyond the confines of your office or living room.
Perhaps best of all, the system would be virtually or entirely cable-free. The mouse and keyboard would talk to the computer using Bluetooth or another wireless technology. The system could grab its juice through batteries or inductive charging rather than directly via AC power cords.
The patent itself describes the technology as follows:
Computer systems and methods may provide a projection display as a primary visual output. In particular, a computer system may include an integrated projector output. Such a computer system may be substantially or even entirely externally wire-free. Methods of image processing may involve a computer system with an integrated projector output. Such methods may involve using raw presentation data for image processing, including adjustment and/or correction for brightness, color and/or geometry artifacts generated from aspects of the projection surface (such as geometry, texture, color or the like), the surroundings (such as ambient light), the relation of the computer system (or integrated projector output) to the projection surface (such as distance, orientation or the like), and/or the relation of a user/viewer to the projection surface (such as viewing angle, distance or the like).
As always, even an awarded patent doesn't mean the technology will ever see the light of day. But such a system would certainly be an innovative step up from all-in-one computers that include all the internals but still saddle you with a large monitor that takes up space.