Apple plans MultiTouch iMac, wearable displays?

Rumours: Touchy-feelie iMacs and video headgear looms?Apple’s research and development teams are hard at work on powerful new technologies which may debut in 2009, including a fully touchscreen iMac and wearable video displays (that latter perhaps under some kind of arrangement with Sony).

On a tour of LG Electronic’s factory in Korea, hard-working journalists unearthed technology which could drive a multi-touch iMac, which the report claims is “ready to go”.

LG already manufactures the screens for existing iMac models, and while Apple hasn’t confirmed or denied these claims (the company never comments on rumour or speculation), its partner seemed positive for the plan, the report suggests.

“LG is working on a full multitouch display for computers. Now that might sound so so, but seeing as the Korean giant makes the panels for iMacs, it actually points to something far bigger – a multitouch Mac.”

Also it seems previous reports which claimed Apple and Sony to be developing wearable, head-mounted displays may have truth behind them.

Sony in May revealed an eyeglass-shaped see-through display that shows full colour video images which overly the actual view. Sony, it seems, developed the new technology particularly for use as an MP4 player (iTunes videos, for example).

An in-depth report on the new prototype technology touches on the advanced nature of the invention, which relies on a host of proprietary technologies and all-new advances in LED design.

August research from Research and Markets claimed the market for wearable displays will reach at least $3 billion by 2012, remarking that the cost of production of these solutions is falling to a point which favours mass market implementations of this kind.

That report also pointed out that the personal viewers available to market today limit how well people can see what’s going on around them. “Sony and Apple are developing the next generation personal viewer, the navigation/video sunglasses. These products will offer navigation features in full see-through mode as well as video viewing with a clip-on to block the background,” the researchers said.

So, when can we expect these fabled video glasses to reach market? Not immediately, it seems, as the schedule for commercialization has “yet to be decided,” Sony said, though it “hopes to promote the development in view of commercialization in about 2010,” said Hiroshi Mukawa, senior manager of the Display Division at Sony Information Technologies Laboratories.

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