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Apple investigating stylus with extendable 'multitouch' nib, onboard light and motion sensors

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Apple has shown interest in building a new intelligent, sensor-laden stylus that could draw lines of varying widths and shapes by extending a long, extendable "nib" that interacts with a multitouch display.

Stylus


Apple's "Input device having extendable nib" describes a unique stylus with a number of different nib or tip configurations, each having its own properties for drawing on a multitouch surface like an iPad. Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, the proposed invention also boasts on-board sensors for motion detection and a light sensor for sampling real-world colors.

Unlike current styli, Apple's invention notes that the conductive nib may have variable interaction surface dimensions dictated by length. For example, a nib can have a limited interaction surface when set to a position close to the stylus chassis for drawing thin lines. By extending the nib outside of the stylus' body, it will be able to interact with a screen at more than one touch node.

In one embodiment, the nib is flexible, meaning the further it extends away from the chassis, the less rigid it becomes. This can be useful in delivering multiple "feels," like a pen or paintbrush.

Stylus
Source: USPTO


The more a nib is exposed, the more nodes it can touch on its "sides." In such scenarios when the stylus activates more than one touch node on a multitouch screen, a different input may be registered with the tablet's GUI. A basic example is a resulting thicker line, though the input's formatting can also change, making changes like output color, opacity and more.

Moving to the nib itself, Apple envisions the piece to be made out of a conductive material like metal, doped rubber or mylar. The main function of the part is to be at least partially flexible so as to allow for slight deformation when writing or drawing.

When a user wishes to extend the nib out of the stylus body, they can use an actuator or switch mechanism integrated within the chassis. For example, a slider, button or twist cap can extend or retract the flexible nib.

Stylus


The actuator is especially important in embodiments that include multiple tips, or strands as Apple refers to them. These strands can be extended just as the usual one-piece nib, but may in some cases "fan out" to create a brush effect.

Because the filaments extend out of a single hole, the stylus may include a special collar system that changes the shape of the exit aperture. In one example, a thin slit is selected, thus forcing the strands to fan out. Other examples include a shape that forms the nib sections into a round brush.

In one embodiment, the system features light-transmissive nibs or strands through which data may pass to the touch screen or a processor on board the stylus. In this case, the touchscreen display may have cameras embedded beneath its surface to collect light information pumped out from an LED in the stylus.

Communicating via light, the stylus would be able to inform the tablet to change a line's color, engage certain patterns, change brush types and even operate system functions.

Stylus


Alternatively, the light sensor may be connected to the nib or a strand element to read light information from the display. This would allow for a number of different functions, including screen color calibration and sampling of hues from the real world that can then be applied to a digital painting, among others.

Finally, in some forms, the stylus may be kitted with a sensor suite including accelerometers, gyroscopes and other motion-sensing components that relays stylus position and angle back to host tablet. The array would be helpful in transmitting lean angle that may then output a wider stroke, mimicking the motion of a wide-tipped pen.

Apple's advanced stylus patent application was first filed for in 2012 and credits Joel S. Armstrong-Muntner as its inventor.
post #2 of 31
I wish Apple would buy 53 and for now sell their Pencil as an optional accessory and provide an API for it for all drawing apps out there for some consistent practice in this area. And make Paper an iWork app. Numbers, Pages, Keynote, Paper. And make that team for now work away by itself inside Apple to work on more cool ideas iOS users would benefit from having them as part of every iOS device.

Facebook are swallowing up all the great iOS dev teams. It's time Apple incorporated one of two great teams into the fold.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 31
I completely agree. Apple should absolutely buy 53 before any others do. It would make for a good purchase in both accessory and software. I doubt though 53 is for sale as they like their freedom. But a partnership would harm either...
post #4 of 31
SJ-“If you see a stylus, they blew it.”
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

SJ-“If you see a stylus, they blew it.”

 

For general interaction, yes, but not for drawing. For drawing or painting a stylus is superior.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

SJ-“If you see a stylus, they blew it.”

Meaning that if you have to use a stylus as the primary way to operate a device, they blew it (like Palm or Windows CE). Having one optional for painting and drawing is not blowing it because it's entirely optional.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appleinsider 
a light sensor for sampling real-world colors.

That would be very useful. Even more so if you could use it on a Mac. You could just have the pen and poke an image in a book or a physical object and then instantly push it onto a computer to use.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Meaning that if you have to use a stylus as the primary way to operate a device, they blew it (like Palm or Windows CE). Having one optional for painting and drawing is not blowing it because it's entirely optional.

Then why not say that?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #8 of 31

It would be awesome if the addition of a smart stylus could turn an iPad into a full-blown, high-end artistic input tablet.  Good ones currently cost many hundreds of dollars.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Meaning that if you have to use a stylus as the primary way to operate a device, they blew it (like Palm or Windows CE). Having one optional for painting and drawing is not blowing it because it's entirely optional.

Then why not say that?

It's not very concise, plus a lot of things are said in context. When you take statements out of that context, they become more ambiguous. These videos are talking about the main usage of the device:




Not that this should stop you going out of your way to find faults or contradictions in everything Apple does. It also helps to avoid pre-emptively assuming everything Steve said should be considered correct.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's not very concise, plus a lot of things are said in context. When you take statements out of that context, they become more ambiguous. These videos are talking about the main usage of the device:
 

Exactly.  Remember this is back in the annals of time when every smart phone had both a physical keyboard and a stylus and could not be operated without using one of the other.

 

Also, this comment was made when the iPhone came out, well before the iPad.  It's the iPad that proved that "fingers only, no exceptions" is too limiting--for some use cases.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's not very concise, plus a lot of things are said in context. When you take statements out of that context, they become more ambiguous. These videos are talking about the main usage of the device:
Not that this should stop you going out of your way to find faults or contradictions in everything Apple does. It also helps to avoid pre-emptively assuming everything Steve said should be considered correct.

I personally avoid making concrete, and rigid statements because they have a way of coming back and biting me in the ass. I don't question the genius that SJ was, but allowing for future flexibility in his statements was not one of his strong suits. All my life I've never seen 'nobody' turn into 'somebody'.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #12 of 31

They'd be better served buying Cintiq...Apple has really missed the boat on the tablet for artists...kinda crazy so oblivious they are considering their roots are Graphic Designers who were their bread and butter.

 

Personally I'm disappointed in Apple and screwing the graphics/artists person over on the iPad. This is the perfect device and the drawing/sketching on it sucks @$$.

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

SJ-“If you see a stylus, they blew it.”

 

Steve was kinda silly in this respect. Stylus are EXACTLY what artists use. His view was blurred on this unfortunately.

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I personally avoid making concrete, and rigid statements because they have a way of coming back and biting me in the ass.

All my life I've never seen 'nobody' turn into 'somebody'.

Again, it's in context i.e "Nobody wants a stylus"... as the primary means to operate a mobile device. If he personally extended it to drawing then so what, that would have been his opinion. He also said "people don't read books anymore", yet they have a book store:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/01/steve-jobs-peop/

"It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”"

The statement "don't read" is in the context of stats showing that a negligible amount of people read books. You are taking his words literally in order to find a contradiction that you can highlight when the flaw is that you are taking the words literally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I don't question the genius that SJ was, but allowing for future flexibility in his statements was not one of his strong suits.

How many statements of his are you basing this on? Also why would he carefully structure every statement he made in any conversation under the assumption that it would be quoted forever more? Steve's statements are often more powerful because they aren't carefully constructed but honest and genuine.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Again, it's in context i.e "Nobody wants a stylus"... as the primary means to operate a mobile device. If he personally extended it to drawing then so what, that would have been his opinion. He also said "people don't read books anymore", yet they have a book store:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/01/steve-jobs-peop/

"It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”"

The statement "don't read" is in the context of stats showing that a negligible amount of people read books. You are taking his words literally in order to find a contradiction that you can highlight when the flaw is that you are taking the words literally.
How many statements of his are you basing this on? Also why would he carefully structure every statement he made in any conversation under the assumption that it would be quoted forever more? Steve's statements are often more powerful because they aren't carefully constructed but honest and genuine.

There's always this one.
Quote:
.... we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.


Had he said "Nobody wants a stylus as the primary means to operate a mobile device" then it wouldn't be a issue because there's flexibility in a statement like that. If you're going to stand on stage in front of the world you should carefully choose what you're going to say, because people will dissect, and analyze it many times over.
Edited by dasanman69 - 3/20/14 at 2:26pm
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

There's always this one.
Had he said "Nobody wants a stylus as the primary means to operate a mobile device" then it wouldn't be a issue because there's flexibility in a statement like that. If you're going to stand on stage in front of the world you should carefully choose what you're going to say, because people will dissect, and analyze it many times over.

Mr Jobs was a salesman (among other things). Of course whatever it was he was promoting from Apple would be the ideal size, or interface, or display, or whatever. If a competitor offered something different it shouldn't come as surprise that he dismissed it as useless, wrong size , wrong something. He certainly wasn't going to admit to any device advantage that he didn't sell. No salesman would.
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post #17 of 31
I'm looking for a general all-around durable stylus any recommendations?
post #18 of 31
I'm sorry it's for the iPad
post #19 of 31
Oh thou irony.

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS11 View Post

Are you asking about a passive stylus for the iPad?  What do you plan on using the stylus for?

I've seen quite a few people using a stylus on a iPhone. They can type remarkedly fast with it.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #21 of 31
Please lord bring a stylus to the iPad.

Painting and taking notes with my finger sucks!

I have been waiting years for this
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

There's always this one.
Quote:
.... we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

If your point is that Steve Jobs wasn't always right about everything then I don't see why you especially see that as significant. If they tested multiple sizes and at that point in time decided 10" gave the best experience then that's what they thought. They are allowed to change their minds during further testing.

You also took that quote out of context. The statement was:

"There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps."

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/oct/22/ipad-mini-steve-jobs-7in-tablets

The context was discussing 7" tablets that have 45% of the area of the 10" iPad. The iPad Mini has 60% of the area and as Phil Schiller demonstrated on stage, the software UI they developed and screen aspect they chose plays a large role in how much you can see on screen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

If you're going to stand on stage in front of the world you should carefully choose what you're going to say, because people will dissect, and analyze it many times over.

What they say would then be uninteresting like when people go out of their way to be politically correct. It's a waste of time trying to do that anyway because internet commenters will try to find something to complain about no matter what is said.

Every time Apple comes out with a new product, they say it's the best device they've made e.g the Mac Pro is the best Mac they've made. The Retina MBP or iMac could easily still be the best Mac but it depends on what aspect is being considered. If you read too much into it then that's where the fault lies, not with what they're saying.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If your point is that Steve Jobs wasn't always right about everything then I don't see why you especially see that as significant.

Of course he wasn't always right; none of us ever is. What's significant is how that very same quote was used to ridicule a competitor when they included a stylus. Your response to my posting wasn't "SJ wasn't always right" instead you chose to tell me what you think he meant, and since SJ isn't around to tell us what he meant I'm left with no choice but to take it at face value.

It's funny how everyone that ridiculed Samsung for including a stylus is conveniently absent from this thread because now they look foolish. At least Spartan had enough honor, and integrity to say the SJ's vision was blurry in response to my comment.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Of course he wasn't always right; none of us ever is. What's significant is how that very same quote was used to ridicule a competitor when they included a stylus.

Is Apple considering including the stylus with the product? Are they going to bring it to market? They have patents for goggles too but they haven't brought them to market and we make fun of Google Glass, as does Apple ('that glass looks half full').
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Your response to my posting wasn't "SJ wasn't always right" instead you chose to tell me what you think he meant, and since SJ isn't around to tell us what he meant I'm left with no choice but to take it at face value.

You didn't take his comment at face value, you took it out of context and declared how you interpreted it outside that context. I put it back into context and said how I interpreted it inside that context.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It's funny how everyone that ridiculed Samsung for including a stylus is conveniently absent from this thread because now they look foolish.

Apple hasn't included a stylus with their products nor have they manufactured one yet so I don't really see how. If Apple drilled a hole into the iPad, stuck a standard stylus in it and shipped it then they might very well get some ridicule for it.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
 

 

Steve was kinda silly in this respect. Stylus are EXACTLY what artists use. His view was blurred on this unfortunately.

Check out the "worlds most realistic finger painting" of Morgan Freeman by artist Kyle Lambert ... I think you might change your mind.

 

http://www.kylelambert.co.uk/gallery/morgan-freeman/

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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Check out the "worlds most realistic finger painting" of Morgan Freeman by artist Kyle Lambert ... I think you might change your mind.

http://www.kylelambert.co.uk/gallery/morgan-freeman/

Cool video! Thanks for that link, but over 200 hours to complete it? Wonder how much faster he would have been with a stylus. 1wink.gif
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post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple hasn't included a stylus with their products nor have they manufactured one yet so I don't really see how. If Apple drilled a hole into the iPad, stuck a standard stylus in it and shipped it then they might very well get some ridicule for it.

What's wrong with a piece of string and some duct tape? Geesh, people overthink these things.
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post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Cool video! Thanks for that link, but over 200 hours to complete it? Wonder how much faster he would have been with a stylus. 1wink.gif

He's not 'nobody', so he doesn't need a stylus. lol.gif
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Cool video! Thanks for that link, but over 200 hours to complete it? Wonder how much faster he would have been with a stylus. 1wink.gif

Maybe, but according to my wife, faster is never better.    ;)

See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


If your point is that Steve Jobs wasn't always right about everything then I don't see why you especially see that as significant. If they tested multiple sizes and at that point in time decided 10" gave the best experience then that's what they thought. They are allowed to change their minds during further testing.

You also took that quote out of context. The statement was:

"There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps."

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/oct/22/ipad-mini-steve-jobs-7in-tablets

The context was discussing 7" tablets that have 45% of the area of the 10" iPad. The iPad Mini has 60% of the area and as Phil Schiller demonstrated on stage, the software UI they developed and screen aspect they chose plays a large role in how much you can see on screen.
What they say would then be uninteresting like when people go out of their way to be politically correct. It's a waste of time trying to do that anyway because internet commenters will try to find something to complain about no matter what is said.

Every time Apple comes out with a new product, they say it's the best device they've made e.g the Mac Pro is the best Mac they've made. The Retina MBP or iMac could easily still be the best Mac but it depends on what aspect is being considered. If you read too much into it then that's where the fault lies, not with what they're saying.

I would add that the resolution and general screen quality was a lot worse at the advent of the iPad, another reason for sticking to 10 inch. Although it's true that the iPad Mini came out at the lower resolution, the screen quality had improved by that point, making the 8" screen more feasible. And with advances in screen quality plus the retina display, even more feasible today.

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post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post
 

Check out the "worlds most realistic finger painting" of Morgan Freeman by artist Kyle Lambert ... I think you might change your mind.

 

http://www.kylelambert.co.uk/gallery/morgan-freeman/


Nope...not really. It's a painting. In terms of accurate drawing for say comics and other things, the iPad doesn't cut it due to lack of pressure sensitivity. That's why almost all artists are still using WACOMS...the iPad just cannot compete with it.

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