The future Mac OS X desktop may be a feast of moving images with little or no impact on system performance, a recent Apple patent filing suggests.

The patent is called 'System and method for computing a desktop picture', and is for technology which seemingly promises "live desktop graphics" will be a new feature in Mac OS X 'Leopard'.

Users will also be able to customize their desktop for different uses and appllications – a feature that suggests the patent may relate to Leopard's already-revealed "Spaces" feature.

These will likely be based on key system technologies, such as CoreImage and CoreVideo. The patent description also explains how desktop images can be created which change over time, perhaps reflecting the seasons.

As described, Apple's patent filing also suggests the new technology will be less memory-intensive.