Touch Screen iMac – a Dream or a Reality?

iMac users have long been looking to increase the functionality of their computers by adding a touch screen option to their iMacs. A true touch screen iMac is something that Apple’s founder Steve Jobs did not seem to fond of, lamenting that people would get tired arms after just a few minutes of use. While at first this may seem like it makes sense, there are plenty of reasons why an iMac touch screen system would work well for all sorts of people. The consumers who can really benefit from a touch screen option include people who like to work with their hands, or those who might be using their iMacs for business. Another, sometimes overlooked segment, is young kids who may not be able to type very well, or at all, but can use a touch screen iMac to play educational games.

Touch Screen iMac for Business Use

Businesses can use a touch screen iMac if they were using their computer as a terminal. It can be much easier to just punch in numbers with a finger and print out receipts like that than with messing with a mouse or clicking in an out of other programs. This can find a widespread use in restaurants or other places where there are several people working at once and speed is important. Without the development of a touch screen iMac however, it is hard to tell exactly in what other ways it could affect businesses positively.

One possible other way however is that it may allow an expansion of tabletop entertainment systems. Many bars have games that are hooked into a touch screen computer that is made specifically for these games. With a touch screen iMac, bar owners can provide their patrons with a lower cost alternative to the several thousand dollar game machines, and offer them a wider variety of games, activities, or even internet browsing.

Touch Screen iMac for Educational Use

An iMac touch screen for educational purposes may be one of the most novel ways that touch screen technology could be utilized. Kids who now use non-interactive entertainment and educational mediums, such as TV, may have a lot to gain from being able to interact with their surroundings. Opening up the world of iMac apps to children can help kids learn to read and write at a younger age, as well as get along with others, and have an increased exposure to technology, helping them adapt to it later in their childhood.

Touch screens can also be used in grade schools, as well as pre-schools since iMacs can give kids instructions to point to something on the screen and then can respond once it’s been done. This is something that most schools or teachers have never had the ability to do until just a few years ago, once touch screen technology became cheap enough that an average consumer could afford it.

With so many possible uses for a touch screen iMac, there will probably be a time in the future where iMacs will come with optional touch screen technology. It may not appeal to everybody, but there is a niche market out there that would be well-served by a computer that doesn’t have to be run by a mouse and keyboard.

A Working Model Touch Screen iMac

touchscreen imacSince Apple hasn’t officially came out with a touch screen iMac, one enterprising company has developed a way using existing touch screen technology to turn 21 inch iMacs into a touch screen platform. The device is called the Zorro Macsk and is an adapter that fits over the screen of the smaller iMacs. The plate has receptors in it that read where you are dragging and clicking on the screen and translates that into similar mouse movements and actions to make it pretty much a true touch screen experience.

Buying the Zorro Macsk

In order to turn your iMac into a touch screen computer, you’ve first got to find a supplier for the Macsk. Since it is a little hard to find, you might have to do a little bit of digging to find one. Amazon seems to usually have some available for purchase even though their selection seems to be limited. This can be attributed to both high demand and low production of it, since it is sort of a niche device. At between $199-299, the price point does seem a little high for what it provides but if you find the right application for it, the Macsk would be well worth the price.

Installing the Macsk

Once you are lucky enough to get your hands on a Zorro Macsk, you then must go through the process of installing it on your iMac. The Macsk comes in a couple of parts which are fairly easy to assemble. You have the frame which goes on the outside of the screen and a special insert that goes in between the screen itself and the frame. While it does come with a set of easy to read instructions, it doesn’t take too long to figure out how to use it once you have it setup. Tapping on the screen once is like single clicking with a mouse. Double tapping is like double clicking with a mouse, and waving brushes things off the screen. What is a bit tricky is doing something like right-clicking since the Macsk can’t tell your right from your left hand.

Is the Macsk a Good Substitute for a Touch-Screen iMac?

Since there isn’t really any alternative to the Macsk right now, you can definitely say that the Macsk is a good substitute to having a non-touch screen iMac, if that is what you need. In the future if Apple does come out with a touch screen version of the iMac, the viability of the Macsk would be up in the air. If the feature comes standard on iMacs without a price increase, it will be impossible to reconcile paying extra for the Macsk. If there is an extra fee for the touch screen mode, the Macsk may still have a use, especially if the fee is quite a bit more than the standard price.

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