The Apple iMac is a beautiful machine, but it could never be described as ergonomic. You cannot rotate the display, turn it 90 degrees, or even raise and lower it to a more accommodating height. That may soon change, however, according to a recently granted patent.
The patent shows that Apple is considering an iMac with a display that can perform a variety of “ergonomic adjustments.” That alone may convince a lot of people to shell out for a new iMac, as it is not currently notuncommon to see iMac users propping their computers up on a stack of books just to get them to a comfortable height.
But this is not just an iMac that can be rotated as required. In typical Apple fashion, the patent goes much further, detailing a computer that can adjust its position and orientation based on the person that is logged in, all without the user lifting a finger.
When a person first logs in, the iMac would read a file containing settings for that specific user and automatically perform ergonomic adjustments suited to that person. When a different user logs in on the same iMac, it would readjust itself for their needs. And if that second person sits down at the iMac while the first user is logged in, the computer would only change its position if they are known to the logged-in user, which is determined through facial recognition. There would be no manual input required, other than creating the initial settings files.
That could save users a lot of uncertainty. If you have ever adjusted a monitor to get it “just right,” only to have someone else change its position, you know how tricky it can be to get things back to how they used to be. By using a file stored on the computer, this iMac concept would have exact measurements to base its movements on, ensuring you get the perfect setup every time.
The patent was filed by Apple in September 2017 but has only just been granted. Given that time frame, Apple could be well on its way to implementing this automatic ergonomic solution in future iMacs, so we may not have to wait long to see it in action. Rumors have pointed toward a wide-ranging redesign for the iMac some time in the coming months — could this new system make an appearance?
It is possible, but given that this is a patent, there is still a good chance it will never see the light of day. Apple patents a lot of ideas that it never puts into practice as a way of testing new concepts. Still, we are hoping that this is one idea that Apple decides to give the green light.