Future iMacs could extend display with built-in projector

Apple Imac Lifestyle Image
Apple Imac Lifestyle Image (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Future iMacs could project desktop to nearby walls, based on a new patent.
  • The patent shows the iMac projecting its screen to a wall directly behind the machine.
  • The projection patent has been credited to Paul X. Wang and Joshua P. Song.

Most companies are always on the lookout for innovative ways to incorporate cutting-edge technology into their products, and this couldn't be more true for Apple. According to a new patent noticed by AppleInsider, Apple could be exploring the idea of putting a built-in projector of sorts into its iMacs.

The iMac has become one of Apple's most iconic devices, with its all-in-one design made up of a super-thin (not yet bezel-less) display that encloses the main components and a small stand that holds the display at eye-level for users. Over the years, the company has tweaked and refined the iMac, but it's been a while since we've seen any significant changes to the beloved desktop computer, however, that could all change soon.

The patent, which has been dubbed "Housing Structures and Input-Output Devices For Electronic Devices" and US Patent No 20200081492, describes an iMac that may have input-output devices like "sensors, displays, wireless circuitry, and other electronic components mounted within the housing."

Imac Projection Patent Apple Insider

Imac Projection Patent Apple Insider (Image credit: AppleInsider)

The rear housing wall may have a glass portion or other transparent structure through which projectors project images onto nearby surfaces and through which image sensors and other optical sensors receive light. The housing may be supported by a stand. An electrical component in the stand may interact with an electronic device on the stand. Wireless circuitry in an external item may wirelessly couple to wireless circuitry within the housing.

This idea has been credited to Paul X. Wang and Joshua P. Song, the minds behind the all-glass iMac.

Now, it's worth noting that this patent may never actually become a product but it's definitely good to know that Apple is actively exploring new iMac features and designs.

Stephanie A Barnes

Stephanie Barnes is a contributor at iMore. She fell in love with technology after building her first PC as a little girl. She later followed that passion to become a front-end/iOS engineer before switching to writing full-time. Stephanie's writing on technology, health and wellness, movies, television, and much more can be found all over the internet, including at HuffPost, HelloGiggles, PopSci, MindBodyGreen, and Business Insider. At iMore, she covers everything from breaking news to product roundups with the latest and greatest devices, apps, and accessories on the market. Stephanie also writes the occasional how-to guide to help readers get the most out of their Apple's devices and services.