Researchers are continuously trying to extend the functionality of a smartphone and it’s accessories beyond their defined scope. In a similar manner, certain patents defining a ‘touch-sensitive’ stylus have surfaced from Apple. Using the ‘touch-sensitive’ stylus(which may also have force touch), you can input commands and define functions to perform depending on where you place your fingers on the stylus.
The patent titled ‘Stylus with Touch Sensor’ was filed in December 2014, even before the launch of the first Apple Pencil. The patent describes a stylus shaft with touch sensors along its full(or partial) length. The touch sensors could then recognize gestures to perform certain on-screen UI activities, like scrolling, rotating or moving objects. It can also based on your touch recognize if you’re holding the stylus in your left or right hand.
The touch sensors embedded in the shaft of the stylus may include gestures in which a user’s fingers move along the length of the stylus to maybe scroll a page. It may also recognize rotational motion to help rotate an object that your drawing or some pressure-sensitive gestures similar to the current Apple Pencil. These features will be most helpful for creative artists and designers who might prefer to use an iPad coupled with an advanced Apple Pencil to sketch.
The patent mentions the introduction of fine finger location determination which will allow Cupertino to track your multi-touch inputs based on the touch sensors on the stylus. These inputs can thus be used to control UI inputs, like changing the brush size or rotating the object by 90° by just a flick of the stylus. Apple Insider, who first spotted the patent also reports that if the stylus is fitted with an accelerometer then users can also perform pinch gestures to pick and move objects on the screen. It will also be helpful in controlling the zoom level while designing.
The tech giants always keeps filing for patents based on their crazy ideas, just to protect their rights and intellectual property from other tech giants. You can never be too sure to see features discussed above to apeear in the upcoming iteration of Apple Pencil. These generally represent the innovative thinking of the company and the direction they are heading in.
Apple has recently also patented a clear fully transparent smartphone with a wrap around display. The all glass display with a flexible wrap around dual screen extends functionality and also introduced into the mix another recent technology patent by Cupertino. This patent describes a method for automatically switching the interface on a smartphone-style device based on which hand it’s being held in. It is also possible due to the presence of pressure-sensitive sensors embedded on the sides of the hand-held device.
We’re not sure if the patented touch based stylus will see the light of day, but it definitely is a cool concept thought by the researchers at Cupertino.