Every so often we come across a picture that we have not seen before that simply screams “Take my Money.” Yes, we want this. What you may be surprised to know is that the image collage below is a future concept of the iMac made way back in 2006 courtesy of Kromekat, otherwise known as the illustrator and designer Adam Benton.
These iMac Future images are quite amazing considering they will soon be approaching ten years old. The image shows what appears to be a fully wireless system, featuring a 30-inch transparent screen. We can only speculate now with the rise in the popularity of touch sensitive screens that it would be a touch-based display. The keyboard is also transparent, although it appears the mouse maybe a chrome like metal rather than glass. It looks like the keyboard illuminates up when in use and the whole system based on some wireless power source.
Of course, these concepts are now not all science fiction. Samsung LG has already shown off some new OLED Display prototypes featuring a 30 percent transparent display:
Wireless charging is similarly starting to take off, although the concept is not quite at the desktop computing stage. Just take at this Forbes article from August 2014 which confirms Apple have recently patented a system for Wireless Power. In fact, two patents were awarded to Apple, which was filed back in 2012. Of course, it is not uncommon for companies to patent ideas and concepts that are subsequently never put into production, but it does show the way technology is heading, and that perhaps a computer like the 2006 concept iMac is not that far away after all. Of course, if you cannot wait for wireless charging you can already buy a Duracell Powermat for your mobile phone.
But before we go too far and think the concepts in the 2006 design are not too out of the box, we should remind ourselves of what the iMac did look like back in 2006 when the latest model with an Intel Core Duo Processor (full specs) looked a like this:
Other Future iMac Concepts
Of course, there have been many designers who have since created concept designs for the iMac or even successor models:
Kurt had this to say:
After seeing the 30th Anniversary of Apple, it inspired me to create a computer of my own. I imagined an "all in one" workstation which one would want to work with on a daily basis with endless power and a huge display. The Macintosh classic was the starting point and thereafter it evolved into the iPro.
The iView is an iMac Future concept dating back to 2009, and in our view, much more insightful into the future than the iPro, which does by today's standards seem fairly ordinary. Portuguese designer Nuno Texeira did the design, and you can read an in-depth interview on how he went about and what inspired the latest iView design concept here, but this short quote stood out on how he managed to capture the Apple feel:
The Apple products are iconic in all senses; they sell well because people fall in love with their looks. Translating the design elements of apple was very interesting work, but not easy. The soft curved shapes, the sleek body and the simplicity of the overall design are my guide lines in the iView design process.
The curved panoramic screen is designed to give you total immersion and more cinema-like in nature. We could also envisage the screen would incorporate a touch interface due to the lack of any visible keyboard or mouse in the concept design images.
What looks, even more, smart is the second LCD screen on the rear of the device. This could be used for demos, classes or so that you can easily share your screen with a friend.
Of course, this concept dating back to 2009 is to some extent a reality, at least on the technology side. You can already buy a Ultrawide curved monitor from LG for around $1300.
Also, two-sided monitors have already been used on laptop computers such as this one from Asus:
Future iMac 3D
The last concept iMac design we shall also cover dates from around 2009. It was created by designer Steve Pellegrin. We don't have much detail on the design, but it looks like it could have been something out of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Of course, the fact that it still has the place for a CD does look a little odd in 2015. But the concept is sleek, unique and it would be interesting just as to how efficient typing on a keyboard such as that would be. It does force you to be very close to the screen, so not sure if we would like this in reality.
The Current iMac
It is quite interesting to compare the 2006 iMac model (we included a photo earlier) with the current model: the iMac with Retina 5k Display. Having followed the iMac over the years as well as other Apple products it is clear that they don't like to stray too far from their initial design on subsequent iterations. What they do like to do, are subtle changes as well as significantly improve on the technology. With the Retina 5k iMac model they certainly do this. The display is just 5 mm at its thinnest point and has a resolution of 5120x2880 with over 14.7 million pixels. Some four times the amount of an HD display.
What do you think?
Would you buy any of the concepts, or do you like the current direction of the current iMac?