Apple may introduce an iMac made out of a single sheet of glass

Beijing, China - 26 May, 2021: Brand new 2021 colorful iMac’s in Apple Store. Customers are waiting in line to get new products from Apple.
(Image credit: abolukbas via Shuttertsock)

An interesting patent has been granted to Apple that suggests a future iMac could receive a game-changing facelift. According to the documentation, the iMac could potentially be made of a single sheet of glass that would extend the user's screen by projecting the display onto a nearby surface, like the wall behind the computer.

The idea is incredibly futuristic, even by Apple’s trend-setting standards, and the idea of having your desktop expanded with a projected display feels like it has been pulled right out of a sci-fi film. Apple Insider dissects the now-granted patent and notes that Apple’s plan seems to use the surfaces around the computer’s display.

“In some arrangements,” says the patent, “the electronic device may be provided with projecting displays that help enhance the area used for providing a user with visual output.” The drawings in the patent show a regular iMac projecting information behind it, but the description also mentions how the device may get in the way of its own projection.


(Image credit: Future)

The future of iMac?

Further into the documents, it reads “The rear housing wall may have a glass portion or another transparent structure through which image sensors and other optical sensors receive light”. This could suggest that the back of the iMac would be made of glass, though it seems like Apple is planning to effectively make a future iMac invisible. Whatever parts of the projected screen would be blocked by the Mac would be shown on the screen itself instead.

If we do see a clear glass iMac in the near future or even an iMac that can project its display across the room to widen a user's screen size, it would be a game changer for the entire industry, and could change what we expect from the best all-in-one PCs. It would be a brazen and bold move by Apple that could seriously shake things up. The innovative, game-changing Apple could be back, baby.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).