Turns out that Apple wants to put everything and the kitchen sink on the future Apple Pencil. The new stylus has been patented recently and judging by all the info we have, the accessory sounds like a beast. There’s talk of a camera, biometric sensor, microphone and gesture control.
It all starts with a patent application filed by Apple with the US Patent and Trademark Organization. The patent talks about a “touch based input for stylus” and explains how a touch sensor could be placed on a stylus with tactile input placed at the user’s natural grip location. A touch sensor on the stylus could read gestures and aid with extra sensitivity for drawing and and sketching. The patent mentions that the touch sensor can be used to detect a tap, double tap, triple tap or another tap gesture.
It can also detect grip and finger position. The stylus could end up using a capacitive sensor to guard against unintentional taps and could also read a “rolling gesture”. This means moving the finger around the circumference of the stylus or the rolling movement of the stylus’s housing. The document mentions all possible components and features, including a microphone, Mute button, biometric sensor, camera, force trackpad and more.
We’ve heard about the placement of a camera in the stylus tip as far back as 2015. Haptic feedback was also mentioned in a paper from that year, while in 2018 there was a patent about the use of ultrasound for the accuracy of the device. One may think that with so many features, the Apple Pencil may compliment the iPhone even better and we may even see a bigger iPhone as a Galaxy Note rival.