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iMacs could one day have detachable displays (giant iPads?)

Imagine this: an iMac with a giant iPad for a display that could be attached and carried with you. Unlikely? Probably, but Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200084902) for a “magnetic attachment mechanism with safely latch for a desktop display.”

In the patent filing, Apple says that desktop display devices may have display areas measuring 20 or more inches along a diagonal. For example, many desktop monitors include a display area measuring 27 inches along a diagonal, but these monitors are conventionally designed to be left on a desktop and physically connected to a power outlet and/or desktop computer or docking station. Optionally, the desktop monitor can be connected to a video source such as a set top box or a laptop computer with an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output. 

Apple says that, however, in some instances, it is preferable that these monitors to be more mobile such that the monitor can be detached from the stand and taken on the go. For example, those in industries including in film, advertising, or fashion may prefer to take a large format display to locations to provide enriched presentations that can be viewed by a large number of people.

Conventionally, however, these people have relied on small format devices such as a tablet computer. Apple thinks it may have a better idea.

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “This application relates to a magnetic attachment mechanism attached to a stand for a display unit. The display unit includes a housing enclosing a display panel. The housing has a recess formed on a rear surface of the housing to accept the magnetic attachment mechanism. 

“The magnetic attachment mechanism includes a magnetic element that is magnetically coupled to a corresponding magnetic element in the housing of the desktop display device when the magnetic attachment mechanism is inserted into the recess. The magnetic attachment mechanism also includes a latch mechanism that locks the display unit to the stand when the latch mechanism is engaged with a surface feature of the recess. The latch mechanism can be disengaged to allow for mobility of the display unit as separated from the stand.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.