Smartprojector: Apple awarded U.S. patent for new completely wireless, ‘desk-free’ computer

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for a completely wireless portable computer that uses a projection system, rather than a conventional LCD display, as its primary mode of visual output,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,610,726 for “Computer systems and methods with projected display” imagines a portable computing system devoid of built-in display, keyboard and nearly all peripheral wires,” Campbell reports. “Instead of the normal laptop trimmings, the box would be featureless, save for the LED or laser light projection system and speakers. The invention even calls for inductive charging to do away with unsightly power cords.”

“Basically, Apple’s patent describes a computer housing with advanced smart projection technology. The device is not merely a projector, however, as the document clearly points out functionality would be equal to or greater than existing laptops and desktops,” Campbell reports. “Further, with the integrated projection system, the device may be carried and mounted in a variety of spaces, while freeing users from fixed screen sizes.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Arline M.” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

8 Comments

    1. If it’s primary role was to be a TV, they wouldn’t need to make it portable or do away with connecting wires.

      The only role I can envisage for such a device around the home would be in the kitchen or bathroom, where interacting with a computer without having to touch it with wet or messy fingers would be an advantage. But having said that, I don’t see a kitchen or bathroom computer being a particularly large market and Apple only tends to aim for large markets.

      I could see plenty of uses for a kitchen computer, but wouldn’t want a bathroom computer.

      Just to confuse things further, the patent listing also mentions it having an accelerometer, which implies that they envisage it being moved around while being operated.

      It’s either an amazing new product category, or else it’s a joke on Samsung, who by the spring will have launched a device meeting this specification, but won’t know what to use it for.

  1. This patent does not excite me. It seems like a solution looking for a problem. The “smarts” of computers are getting smaller and smaller, anyway – just look at the logic boards and sensors in the iPad Air. Soon those “smarts” will be wearable and personalized – you will always have *your* computer and data with you, and you will be able to uplink to cloud resources for more processing intensive tasks.

    The challenge with highly portable and wearable computers is, as always, the human interface – input and output. With an Airplay-type connection, a wearable computer could use any nearby display device – monitors, projectors, etc. So the attraction of a “smart projector” is unclear to me. Actually, the opposite approach seems better – add a pico projector to the iPad. You could use its normal display and touch interface, or turn on the projector to quickly share videos, etc. without the need for another display device. Either I am missing something or this is a red herring.

  2. Looks a bit like some of the demos that Microsoft showed prior to the launch of the original Kinect based X box where you could apparently interact with a projected image and was going to change the world of interaction. Like most of Microsoft’s vaporware it hasn’t exactly worked out the way they attempted to project, just a dumbed down version. No surprise there then. With the recent acquisition of Kinects originator maybe this does have legs.

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