Apple MultiTouch Laptop patent once again heralding a MacTab?

Apple Insider is reporting that Apple has applied for a patent for a multi touch screen interface for laptop computers. This move makes the long awaited, and bi-annually rumored, MacTablet computer one step closer. And it’s all thanks to the iPhone, isn’t it?

The iPhone brought the multi touch interface to the world and it has taken that world by storm. Is Cupertino now looking to expand it (Literarlly) into a MacTablet?

Most of the 52 page patent request cites multi-touch interfaces as the key to “accurately detecting and deciphering a plurality of simultaneous contacts on a touch screen, thereby setting the foundation for future tablet-based products. Illustrations and design descriptions speak of enlarging portions of windows to enable easy access and navigation of buttons that might otherwise be too small and crowded together for accurate and efficient use. Once buttons have been engaged, the interface would automatically go back to it’s original configuration until needed once again.

Additionally, vertical scrolling on files would take place much in the way that music is navigated in the iPhone under iTunes, with a simple swipe of a finger. And a full size keyboard would be completely virtual on the screen, enabling multiple touch and high speed typing. There will also be a virtual scroll wheel which could be of some advantage to film editors out in the field, seeking to put together a rough cut of a scene in real time while the film is being shot. Although in reality the scroll wheel will more likely be used in an ITunes style manner.

Hat Tip Apple Insider