Future generations could probably get to see iMacs that can adjust themselves depending on the logged-in user’s sitting-position to get a more ergonomic computing setup.
Ergonomics has become very important in today’s world, especially with more and more people spending long hours in front of the computer screen. Users could end-up getting various kinds of health issues owing to sitting continuously in a single position for long hours in front of their laptops. These highlighted issues have ultimately resulted in the arrangement of seating and standing desks keeping ergonomics in mind. These factors have also resulted in the arrival of customizable monitor arms and various other peripherals. However, one of the areas that are untouched concerning ergonomics is the computers and its displays.
Most of the time, the computer monitor remains in a single position for a long time. Also, various other monitor parameters like brightness, orientation, and many more do not change irrespective of the person sitting in front of it. It may so happen that a certain set of parameters may suit a particular user, while the same attributes may not suit another user using the system.
A patent titled ‘Ergonomic Adjustments’ has been filed by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. Apple is trying to sort out this issue by enabling the display to update itself, depending on the Mac user’s comfort level.
Apple’s logic is as follows: User logs into iMac using any form of authentication, like username and password or fingerprint-based authentication. Once the user is logged into the system, Mac reaches out to a file containing the monitor’s display parameters. These parameters are written down, keeping in mind the user requirements.
These settings include factors such as brightness as well as color contrast profiles that match the user requirements. All of these attributes can be set using software code. However, now thoughts are being put forward on making a few changes to the settings file such that it can change the physical orientation of the computer screen the way the user wants it.
For instance, these settings can be modified such that the computer monitor shifts itself from the landscape orientation to portrait orientation automatically, which otherwise is a task that is usually carried out manually. Likewise, a few other modifications can also be included to adjust the display height based on the user’s eye-level.
After the initial authentication process, if any other user other than the usual one uses the computer, the system updates the original user that some other person is using their device. With the aid of a webcam and applying facial recognition techniques, the system can scan the second user’s face. If this user is known to the system, before changing the settings, the system obtains permissions for the same from the first user and accordingly manages the settings.
The patent also contains references concerning “keyboard modification settings,” “chair and desk modification settings,” and many more designed, keeping in mind the user’s height, weight, and age.
The patent originally filed on September 28, records its creators as Richard R. Dellinger and Marcel Van Os.
Earlier, too, ergonomics have been a part of Apple’s patents. In 2011, Apple had filed for a patent for full-hand multitouch displays that required a curved surface. In September 2020, another patent was filed, keeping in mind a MacBook Pro that could adjust the keyboard position with the help of a hinged element, again keeping ergonomics in mind. Apple is also thinking of bringing about a bendable MacBook and an iMac that can be made using a single glass sheet.