Computing giant HP may have  borrowed an idea from an Apple patent regarding a touch screen all-in-one computer. The concept itself isn't really anything new, but it's what HP has done with the touch computer: it has a floating hinge that brings the computer screen down to your hands for easy touch access. The picture you're looking at is HP's promo shot. But below is Apple's patent picture for its yet-unreleased touchscreen iMac. The similarities are obvious.

You can check out HP's promo on TouchSmart 610 here, and for your reading pleasure, you can check out the press release, which includes details on the business version of this product.

You don't need to know the specs or the screen resolution, or any of the channel implications. All you need to do is look at this picture, courtesy of Patently
. The title of the patent is "Apple iMac Touch with Flex Base." This patent became big news back in Summer 2010 when rumors that iOS would usurp Mac OS X ran rampant. We now know that Apple has simply implemented iOS features into Mac OS X for the Summer 2011 OS X Lion release.

Sure, the style Apple is so well-known for isn't there. But the design is uncannily similar. What's more, it means Apple is on to something. I know you're saying that HP beat Apple to it, but Apple has arguably made multi-touch devices 'cool' and 'functional,' despite millions of Microsoft Surface demos. I really think HP borrowed the Apple idea -- and long-held concept --- that touch doesn't work with an outstretched hand, it works better and more comfortably with a hand at rest.

But we'll let you decide. What do you think, reader? Has HP borrowed or more simply been inspired?

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