Apple Patents Apple Pencil That Can Sample Colors From Real-World Surfaces

Apple has patented a possible next-generation Apple Pencil that can sample colors from the real world and then input that same color onto an iPad, as well as other features, including the ability to sample textures.

apple pencil hover mode
The patent, reported by Patently Apple, describes an ‌Apple Pencil‌ with color sensors built into the tip of the pencil that can sample the surface of real-world objects and detect their color. Images in the patent show the ‌Apple Pencil‌ may come with a built-in light ambient sensor, light emitter, and a light detector that can detect the color and texture of a surface.

Like with all patents, it doesn't reveal when such a feature or product will launch, if ever. Apple filed a patent for a similar feature in June 2020, and three years later, no such update to the ‌Apple Pencil‌ has been made. The second-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ was announced in 2018, with no clear indication of when a third-generation model could debut.

Apple has added new capabilities to the ‌Apple Pencil‌ with improved ‌iPad‌ hardware and new iPadOS features. For example, the new M2 iPad Pro has a feature called Apple Pencil hover, allowing users to hover the pencil over the ‌iPad‌ to know where exactly the ‌Apple Pencil‌ will touch the display.

Related Forum: iPad Accessories

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Top Rated Comments

MayaUser Avatar
20 months ago

There have been several products released in the last decade that had this functionality. For example:
that is not a pencil , just a digital colour sensor , here we would have an all in one masterpiece of a accessory
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CB1234 Avatar
20 months ago
It would be amazing if this feature was to come to Apple Pencil... Specially for people in graphic design...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
munpip214 Avatar
20 months ago

Scribble did this in 2014, hope they patented it.
I’m sure if Apple would do it it would support billions of colors and only cost $399
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FloatingBones Avatar
20 months ago

Scribble did this in 2014, hope they patented it.
What exactly do you think they did in 2014? The Kickstarter got $366k — 3.6x its funding goal — but they cancelled it. ('') If you click on the link, you'll go to a page where you can ORDER NOW with ONLY 1 DAY LEFT (''). Do you really think the "offer" will not be available tomorrow? Why do you think this is real?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalsta Avatar
20 months ago
Call it the Apple Pencil Ultra and only make it compatible with the next gen iPad Pro Ultra Maxi. The current product line is too simple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rp2011 Avatar
20 months ago
Amazing. It will be a must have for many artists
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)