Apple investigating hide-able, attachable Apple Pencil storage loops

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in iPad
Apple is continuing to work on solving the problem of storing the Apple Pencil when it isn't required by the user, with a patent application published on Tuesday revealing designs for Pencil loops incorporated into iPad Pro cases and covers, keeping the stylus close at hand.




Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and initially applied for in August 2015, the application for "Attachment features for an accessory device" describes multiple ways a loop could be incorporated into an accessories design. The loop could be positioned on both the case and the cover of an iPad Pro, kept off to one side so the Apple Pencil does not interfere with normal iPad usage when it is stowed away.

For cases the loop exists under the lip on one side, overhanging the lip when used to hold the Pencil. A recess inside the case allows for the loop to be folded inside, hiding it underneath the iPad Pro when not in use.




A second version for covers also includes the ability to hide the loop within the cover itself, with the loop able to be pulled out when required. Two rows of magnets inside the cover and at one end of the loop are used to hold the loop in place in its extended and 'hidden' states, so it won't suddenly retract when extended or extend itself out from the case without user intervention.

This magnetic system is also demonstrated with a hypothetical keyboard accessory, with a loop sticking out on one side, but including magnets within to hold the loop when retracted.

In order to retain the Apple Pencil within the loop, the application suggests it could use a "stretchable" material, allowing the loop to exert a retaining force on the accessory. The use of stretchable materials also means the loop could be used to hold larger items, allowing other stylus models to be stored in the mechanism.




The ability to store an Apple Pencil has been an issue for many users since the accessory's introduction in the fall of 2015, and third-party accessory producers have created their own ways to retain the Apple Pencil. One notable example is the Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet, a sleeve that incorporates a magnet, allowing it to be attached to an iPad.

Rumors have suggested Apple is considering the addition of magnets to the "Apple Pencil 2," which would allow the stylus to stick to the iPad. While this would solve the storage problem for a refresh of the stylus, if it does occur, the latest patent application seems to be a solution that would work with the original Apple Pencil, as well as future and other stylus releases.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Please allow me to chuckle a little bit. Dealing with an Apple Pencil and not having a "place to put it" are not really a concern. I can't imagine this is a widespread issue. If you are using it in your work area...no issue. If you are walking down the hall with only your iPad and the pencil...no really issue. Most cases you will have a backpack or bag of some sort. no issue...I hope Apple doesn't spend too much time on this non issue.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Please allow me to chuckle a little bit. Dealing with an Apple Pencil and not having a "place to put it" are not really a concern. I can't imagine this is a widespread issue. If you are using it in your work area...no issue. If you are walking down the hall with only your iPad and the pencil...no really issue. Most cases you will have a backpack or bag of some sort. no issue...I hope Apple doesn't spend too much time on this non issue.
    It isn't a non-issue at all.

    Finding a way to elegantly incorporate a pencil holder into the Smart Cover and Smart Keyboard is entirely Apple.

    I'd be surprised if the new iPad Pro models didn't launch with a new Smart Keyboard with this exact enhancement.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    xzuxzu Posts: 112member
    The new Mac Pro!

    Seriously though, I wish the Apple pencil was ubiquitous.  Its too good of product to be just used in a limited manner. My favorite Apple product in years, maybe they are waiting on the second generation to fully integrate it. 

    Hopefully once Apple moves into the spaceships the product teams will work more closely with each other. The best job at Apple is being the Mac Pro team... had the last three years off.
    jagnut
  • Reply 4 of 9
    fotoformatfotoformat Posts: 238member
    This technological age is sure moving faster and further than human evolution... fifty years ago at art college I always stuck a pencil behind my ear!
    radster360icoco3
  • Reply 5 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,173member
    Pen loops on leather or vinyl organizers and planners are an idea that is as old as dirt. Why they did not do this already is a bit of an example of how designers can become consumed with the form of a product and completely ignore the function. 

    iPad covers with pen loops (or "Pencil loops" in this case) should've been introduced the same day as the Pencil. I even asked an Apple Store manager if I could buy the Pencil holder they were using for their store display since they had nothing available. I honestly recommend Apple start hiring designers with experience designing for the existing office accessories and school supplies space since they would be the first people to inform Apple of these very obvious omissions.
    edited March 2
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Funny (but maybe not).
    Reading the article made me check my bag for it, and found it missing. May have left it in a class last night.

    So yes, it really is an issue.


    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 9
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,409member
    This technological age is sure moving faster and further than human evolution... fifty years ago at art college I always stuck a pencil behind my ear!
    Yeah, but when you dropped it all you had to do was sharpen it, and if you lost it, or someone nicked it all you had to do was nick someone else's. Nowadays that would not be an inconsequential act  :neutral: 
    fotoformat
  • Reply 9 of 9
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,051member
    Please allow me to chuckle a little bit. Dealing with an Apple Pencil and not having a "place to put it" are not really a concern. I can't imagine this is a widespread issue. If you are using it in your work area...no issue. If you are walking down the hall with only your iPad and the pencil...no really issue. Most cases you will have a backpack or bag of some sort. no issue...I hope Apple doesn't spend too much time on this non issue.
    It isn't a non-issue at all.

    Finding a way to elegantly incorporate a pencil holder into the Smart Cover and Smart Keyboard is entirely Apple.

    I'd be surprised if the new iPad Pro models didn't launch with a new Smart Keyboard with this exact enhancement.

    And they will spend 10-15 minutes demonstrating this "feature" during a product announcement.  ;)
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