Patently Apple is reporting that an Apple patent application has surfaced revealing how Apple may implement system transitions on a single Mac. That is to say, transitioning between a mouse-driven Mac OS X, and touched-based iOS. All of this would be triggered by sensors like a rotation hinge in an iMac-like computer or accelerometers detecting […]
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Apple Patent Demonstrates Transitioning Between Mouse and Touch Interfaces

Patently Apple is reporting that an Apple patent application has surfaced revealing how Apple may implement system transitions on a single Mac. That is to say, transitioning between a mouse-driven Mac OS X, and touched-based iOS.

All of this would be triggered by sensors like a rotation hinge in an iMac-like computer or accelerometers detecting the orientation of the screen. Vertically, the machine would function as a traditional desktop computer. Horizontally, it would function more like an iPad. Lastly, the patent describes yet another way this transition could occur, which is touch sensors in the display that will activate an iOS mode when coupled with a change in the screen’s orientation.

The change in the orientation of the display can be detected by one or more sensors. For example, an accelerometer in the display can sense the force of gravity along an axis, and the measured force can be used to determine an angle of the display with respect to the ground (i.e., the plane perpendicular to the direction of the force of gravity). A transition between input modes can be performed when the orientation of the display crosses a predetermined threshold, such as when the vertical angle (tilt) of the display crosses a predetermined angle.

All of the methods described in the patent lead to one end, and that is, the transition from high resolution mouse-based controls in a vertical orientation, and lower-resolution touch based controls when in a horizontal orientation. Additionally, this transition technology isn’t limited to desktops in the patent. Notebooks are included too.

I buy this one. Not just because it’s from the horse’s mouth, but it sounds likely. It wouldn’t be hard for Apple to build an iOS layer on top of Mac OS X. I’m thinking this would look like Mac OS X’s Dashboard feature, but this is purely speculation on my part.

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