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AUTOMATION / SCREENS

Apple Tablet PC Confirmed

By David Richards | Sunday | 26/11/2006

Apple researchers have built a full working prototype of a Mac tablet PC and three Companies in Taiwan are now costing a product for a potential launch in mid 2007.

Sources in Taiwan have said that the focus has been more on the home and the education environment than the enterprise marketplace. Several months ago I was told that Apple was exploring a neat new device that is basically a touch screen that links to various source devices including a brand new media centre that Apple is planning to launch next year.

The Mac tablet has been designed to handle third party applications such as home automation software that will allow users to control lighting, audio, entertainment devices and security feeds. It also acts as a full blown PC has wireless linking for a new generation of Wireless Hi Fi speakers that are currently being tested by Apple.

One set of speakers which are similar in size to the small Bose speakers have been developed by an Australian Company.

Also taken into consideration was the use of the device in educational environments where presenters often want to walk around while having access to source material being presented to a screen or auditorium speakers.

The new MAC tablet has Intel processors as well as a docking station that allows the device to link to screens with HDMI input. The docking station also has additional memo0ry capability so that users can stream content to either the tablet PC or the docking station or directly to a media centre if one is being used.

During the past year Apple has lodged several touch screen patents. They have also lodged patents for wireless devices. However three patents according to sources have been lodged by third part Companies who are licensing technology to Apple. 

During the last two weeks, Apple's stock price has soared to record highs, as investors bet on the success of the new  iPhone which will be launched early in  2007.

On November 16, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled 'mechanical overlay' which was originally filed in May 2005. Apple's patent relates generally to overlays for touch sensing devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to mechanical overlays that include one or more mechanical actuators that provide touch inputs to the touch sensing devices. This powerful patent provides several great examples of mechanical touch screen overlays which could be used with a future iPod, cell phone, PDA, remote control or gaming device. Furthermore, the patent provides us with a unique glimpse into how touch screens will eventually replace traditional MacBook keyboards in addition to providing users with the ability to transform the new keyboard-GUI into being a piano keyboard amongst other applications.

 Quanta and Hon Hai Precision Industry are Taiwanese Companies that make notebooks and other devices for Apple.  Both  have signed confidentiality agreements with Apple for the Tablet Mac.

 

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