Apple have reportedly put a patent out for what seems to look like some kind of stylus, or pen, which may be shipped alongside, or as an optional extra, with the popularly rumored “iPad Pro”. This possible iPad model, which has been leaked on a small scale in the last few months, is said to boast a 12.9 inch screen and enhanced internals and speaker arrangements.
The iPad Pro is Apple’s possible answer to larger Windows Surface tablets with a large screen and better arranged speakers used for productivity and gaming, and although messianic former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once famously derided styluses on any form of tablet, it seems that the company is set to redefine the stylus before going back on the words of their founding father.
What’s been detailed in the patent blueprints is a big departure from previous attempts at a stylus, and indeed more complex than drawing pad pens from makers such as Wacom, which frequently deploy battery free wireless tech. The Apple stylus is the equivalent to a pen, and of course is expected to probably come in variants which will increase in price and complexity.
Proposals in a string of new patents outline haptic feedback, gyroscopes, pressure sensors and other modern widgets, although the outline we’ve seen does appear to include a power source. The best description of the product potentially coming is an optical stylus which “includes determining when the optical stylus is in contact with a surface based on signals received by a processor from a pressure sensor of the optical stylus and capturing an image while the optical stylus is in contact with the surface using a camera of the optical stylus”.
What that mouthful means is in layman’s terms, a pen which knows when it’s on a surface, and uses a camera to do so. It’s quite the departure from traditional input methods, and of course spells doom for other companies who produce similar products, seeing as the iPad already provides a screen and input, and only the stylus itself is needed.
Whether we will see such a product come, or even if the upcoming iPad Pro is on the way any time soon is another one of those mysteries of the tech world that only time will reveal the answer to. However, following only a continuation of the iPad Air line at the end of last year, and the encroachment of Windows into the tablet market, Apple is most likely to respond within this year.
Via: The Register