Apple Pencil is arguably the best stylus that works great with iPad(s). The latest one even goes one step further with wireless charging and gesture to click a button. So what can make it even better? How about a Camera, Biometric Scanner etc. Well, it seems Apple is thinking of all of this as revealed by Patent Application uncovered by 9to5Mac.
The patent application is named “Touch-Based Input For Stylus” and the patemt reads as below:
The touch sensor can be used to detect a tap, double tap, triple tap, or another tap gesture by the user […] The sequence of inputs within a span of time can be interpreted by the stylus as a user’s tap gesture. Detected tap gestures can be correlated with preprogrammed functions to be performed by the stylus and/or an external device upon detection of the tap gestures. For example, one or more taps can be interpreted as a user input to change a characteristic (e.g., color, size, width, thickness, shape, etc.) of a marking produced by use of the stylus with the external device. By further example, one or more taps can be interpreted as a user input to perform functions on the external device, such as a copy function, a paste function, an undo function, and/or a redo function. By further example, one or more taps can be interpreted as a user input to change a tool (e.g., drawing, erasing, etc.) setting for generating markings on the external device […]
The touch sensor can be used to detect a sliding gesture by the user […]
The touch sensor can be used to detect a rolling gesture by the user. The rolling gesture can include movement of a finger about a circumference of the housing and/or rolling movement of the housing.
A stylus comprising: a housing defining a grip region of the stylus; and a capacitive touch sensor comprising multiple sensing elements distributed circumferentially and longitudinally along an inner surface of the housing at the grip region, wherein the capacitive touch sensor is configured to detect movement of a finger with respect to the grip region while the grip region is held by other fingers.
The external device can include one or more of a processor, a memory, a power supply, one or more sensors, one or more communication interfaces, one or more data connectors, one or more power connectors, one or more input/output devices, such as a speaker, a rotary input device, a microphone, an on/off button, a mute button, a biometric sensor, a camera, a force and/or touch sensitive trackpad, and so on.
Now, this reads more like Apple is covering its bases as the present stylus already has gesture support. This support is theoretically being extended with triple tap, swinging motion and rolling gesture. This is a bit similar to what Samsung has with its stylus available with its Note line of Mobile phones.
Further, the sensor can also have a capacitative sensor (this is what we are using for a touch system in mobile phones).
The last portion is like covering all the bases and has included all the inputs possible in a stylus including a camera, a biometric sensor, a microphone, etc. However, all these features might not actually make it to Apple Pencil. We still can imagine the uses of these inputs. Like camera could make taking pictures easier or can be used as a scanner and then annotate. It’s still laughable that users using 10 inch iPad to take pictures. the biometric scanner could bring back fingerprint scanning to iPad without using iPad space.