New reports suggest that tech giant Apple are in the process of creating a new 3D user interface for its OS X operating system.
The report from AppleInsider cited a number of patent filings published this week as evidence that the company was developing "a new multi-dimensional interface for Mac OS X that would make better use of screen real estate by increasing the number of virtual surfaces capable of housing application and interface elements."
The report alleged that Apple filed a patent labelled "Multi-Dimensional Desktop" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in June 2010.
The filing depicted a new 3D interface with side walls, a top and a floor, all extending from a back surface resembling Apple's current OS X interface. The idea behind the new 3D interface would be to allow Mac users to have full control of their task bar and menu selection systems.
If implemented the new 3D interface would allow the user to stack, put to one-side or even file behind other shortcuts or documents.
Additionally the patent filing indicated that users would be able to "sprawl" across the new 3D interface's surfaces. This would mean that users could literally move through the OS to a part of it that they had stored a particular type of file or application.
When combined with the stacking feature, the "sprawling" interface would allow users to store and find specific apps, widgets and documents in the same way they would books in an actual library.
Another feature indicated in the filing suggested that the 3D interface would be capable of dealing with more complex shapes than a simple four-sided square or rectangle. One of the design images showed the interface running on a tetrahedron-shaped environment with curved intersections between each face -- indicating that in the future user's may be able to customise the shape and landscape of their computer's interface.
Tetrahedrons are four-sided shapes made up of trianglular, rather than square, faces.
As always there is not way to confirm the whether Apple will actually make the Tron-esque 3D interface. The company has a long history of filing patents on unique tech ideas and systems only to ensure that its rivals can't build them.