Apple has filed a patent for a desktop computer that would integrate both its keyboard and screen into a single pane of bent glass.
The company submitted an official patent for the design, titled Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member, on 1 May 2019, but the application was only published by the US Patent & Trademark Office last week on 23 January 2020.
The redesigned iMac would see the keyboard and display area incorporated into the same continuous surface made from a sheet of transmissive material. The patent gives glass, plastic or ceramic as examples, but implies it would most likely be made from glass.
This would be supported by a wedge-like structure behind the display that also functions as a container for the computer's processing unit and electrical components.
The keyboard, touchpad and screen would all be built into the single pane of glass, however alternative designs show a device that would allow the keyboard to be detached.
This sheet of glass could also be folded down its middle when not in use, to allow for easier storage or transportation.
The patent additionally shows designs for a MacBook desktop accessory that would allow users to dock a laptop into the device.
The laptop would slot into an opening at the bottom of the device and connect to the iMac to enable the user to use the laptop keyboard and trackpad while having the view of a larger display.
Whether the new design will be created or not is not known, as many patents are never realised. Nevertheless, the design is a good indication of what may be in store from the firm in the future.
One of Apple's latest releases is the iPhone 11 Pro that features three different cameras for ultra-wide photos to offer "the best camera [it's] ever made".
The company also recently collaborated with Google, Amazon and the Zigbee Alliance to develop a standardised system for smart homes that will allow users to connect new devices to any of their other hubs and voice assistants.