Apple has submitted a patent application for a next-generation stylus with a touch-sensitive body (via Apple Insider).

Details of the invention were published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today under the title "Stylus with touch sensor", describing an input device with an array of capacitive touch sensors along the instrument's body.

Stylus patent
The sensors determine the position of the user's fingers and this information can be interpreted as gestures to control aspects of the user interface on the display device.

In some versions, electrodes are installed around the body of the stylus to improve the accuracy of touch detection, including single- and multi-touch gestures.

Apple claims that the sensor design is such that it can detect when the user is rotating the stylus based on the location of two fingers. This data can then be used to perform functions like rotating a virtual object on the display, selecting a brush size in a drawing app, or changing a zoom level.

Stylus patent
Motion gestures are also described in the application. Running a finger up or down the stylus body could control UI window scrolling, for instance. Meanwhile, support for force gestures enables the user to, say, squeeze the stylus to invoke virtual buttons on screen, or increase drawing precision by tightening grip, for instance.

While Apple's idea for a touch-sensitive stylus is impressive in concept, in practice it would likely be a highly challenging technological undertaking, given the variability in the way users grip pens as well as differences in hand size. Whether Apple plans to use the invention in a future consumer product like the Apple Pencil remains to be seen.

Handedness detection patent
Another Apple patent application was also published on Thursday, called "Electronic devices with hand detection circuitry", which describes how special sensors on an iPhone-like device could distinguish between left- and right-handed use, or "handedness".

The ambidextrous invention details how motion sensors could be used to detect rotation and movement, and inform the position of virtual buttons and icons displayed on-screen to increase ease of reach.

The invention harks back to Apple's introduction of the Reachability feature for iPhones with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, in which a double tap on the home button shifts the screen content downwards to bring it within thumb's reach.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

dannyyankou Avatar
82 months ago
Cool, this would be a good upgrade to the Apple Pencil which had patents dating back to 2010 (just saying that in case people comment about Steve Jobs not wanting a stylus).
[doublepost=1466685387][/doublepost]
This is the Apple that addressed the competition "Yuck"?
Comparing styluses from 2007 to today is silly. Smartphones with touchscreens back then required a stylus. The iPad Pro doesn't require a stylus but it's a fantastic tool for artists and designers.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
82 months ago
This is the sort of competition that Jobs was deriding:



...you needed the telescopic toothpick because the icons on screen were too small for fingers - especially with the rubbish resistive touchscreen.

That said, I'm not sure what Jobs would have made of an Apple Pencil sticking at right angles out of an iPad to charge, with the cap and female-female lightning adapter long lost down the back of the sofa of time...
You mean for the 15 seconds you plug it in?
[doublepost=1466693662][/doublepost]
Why does Apple always overlook the simplest, most important points, before thy go off on bells and whistles? You know what happens when you use the back of a Microsoft Stylus? It erases. It also clips to the side of the tablet. And just having a simple button on the side would streamline so many tasks...

It's not as sexy, but I feel like Apple needs a dedicated division that focuses solely on getting the basic functionality right - streamlined, simple, beautiful, USEFUL. Then they can add superfluous complications all they want, so they can say it's more sophisticated than their competitors.

This wasn't an issue in the old days, because the people who made Apple products also used them, so they could see flaws in basic functionality.
The sp4 pencil is also not as good as the iPad Pro pencil.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
82 months ago
This is the Apple that addressed the competition "Yuck"?
This is the sort of competition that Jobs was deriding:



...you needed the telescopic toothpick because the icons on screen were too small for fingers - especially with the rubbish resistive touchscreen.

That said, I'm not sure what Jobs would have made of an Apple Pencil sticking at right angles out of an iPad to charge, with the cap and female-female lightning adapter long lost down the back of the sofa of time...

Attachment Image
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iTom17 Avatar
82 months ago
Can't innovate anymore, my ass
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
82 months ago
15 seconds only gives you 30 mins charge - what if you want to fully charge it and haven't got the fiddly adapter to use it with a lightning cable... or what if you're taking a break and want to top up your iPad at the same time?


Maybe - it terms of performance - but where's the traditional Apple attention to detail?

Plug on the end makes it hyper-vulnerable when plugged in (even 15 seconds is 15 seconds of an accident waiting to happen) and rules out an "eraser" function.
Cap to lose and f-f lightning adapter to lose (why couldn't the adapter built into the cap?)
Even the Apple-made cases don't seem to feature pen storage.
Oh, yes, and its round so it can roll off tables (e.g. when its been put down on a table because there was nowhere else to store it). Even a regular pen clip would (a) stop it rolling and (b) let you store it in a shirt/jacket pocket.
Why weren't the Pencil and Smart Connector designed to be compatible - directly or via an optional pen-holder - so you could store & charge?
It's 15 seconds for a 30 minute charge, and for that is pretty cool. Don't want to use the to use that port them don't. I see no down side or hyper vulnerability.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
mx mechanical keyboard logitech

Logitech Launches New 'Designed for Mac' Mice and Keyboards

Wednesday September 28, 2022 12:01 am PDT by
Logitech today announced the launch of several new mice and keyboards that have been developed for use with Apple's Macs, including Logitech's first mechanical keyboard that has been optimized for the Mac. The MX Mechanical Mini for Mac Keyboard has a keyboard layout designed for Macs, with tools to customize shortcuts with Logi Options+. The keyboard uses Tactile Quiet low-profile switches...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...