Apple wins patent on tech hinting at Apple Pencil use for Mac

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple on Tuesday won the U.S. patent rights to a stylus concept that could pave the way for using an Apple Pencil with Macs, whether on Force Touch trackpads or otherwise.




The patent, seen by AppleInsider, describes a more complex device than the current Pencil, able to work not just on trackpads but in mid-air as a motion-sensitive "air mouse." It might also support rotation commands, or operating as a joystick.

Apple's filing also makes many references to using a stylus with a touchscreen though, and indeed seems to be more connected to work on the Pencil for the iPad Pro. Although the patent application was first published in May 2016, it was actually submitted Nov. 14, 2014. The Pencil and 12.9-inch iPad Pro shipped on Nov. 11 the following year.

Apple is unlikely to actually develop a stylus specifically for Macs, though it could make the Pencil compatible if it gave Macs an easy way of pairing. There are already many third-party styli available for Macs, and keyboards, mice, and trackpads are more generally useful. This fall's macOS Sierra will introduce Siri voice commands.
repressthis

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member
    Appleinsider editors cannot understand that patents are not "won" no matter how many times we remind them. It's not a competition. A proper headline should say that the patent was awarded or granted.
    edited July 2016 SpamSandwichdysamoriarepressthisnolamacguysingularityshamino
  • Reply 2 of 9
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 674member
    Good news. Big yes!
    repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    chabig said:
    Appleinsider editors cannot understand that patents are not "won" no matter how many times we remind them. It's not a competition. A proper headline should say that the patent was awarded or granted.
    I've said this numerous times also. It's not the Publisher's Clearing House or the Powerball lottery.
    dysamoriarepressthissingularity
  • Reply 4 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Apple could always buy Wacom to sew up potential patent issues.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Mac tablet. A full-computer tablet compatible with Mac. Finally.
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 6 of 9
    anomeanome Posts: 1,463member

    I wonder if they'd consider making the Pencil work with the Magic Trackpad, rather than a display? This, to me, makes more sense than trying to use the pencil on a vertical screen. The other option would be to produce a Cintiq killer - an Apple branded display/tablet you could plug in to your Mac for drawing or writing on.

    What I don't see them doing is producing a macOS tablet, or a Surface-style hybrid device.

    shamino
  • Reply 7 of 9
    ipad pro already has an app that lets me interact with photoshop
  • Reply 8 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    appex said:
    Mac tablet. A full-computer tablet compatible with Mac. Finally.
    Just keep in mind that a patent does not equal a product.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    shaminoshamino Posts: 481member
    anome said:

    I wonder if they'd consider making the Pencil work with the Magic Trackpad, rather than a display? This, to me, makes more sense than trying to use the pencil on a vertical screen.

    Agreed.  Plenty of usability studies have shown time and time again that "light pens" and other similar devices are impractical for more than trivial point-and-click applications.  People's wrists start hurting after only a few minutes of holding a pen against a vertical screen.

    A gun-shaped device (so your wrist remains in a more natural position) is more comfortable, but you can't get much precision with a device like that.

    I think use with a pad (trackpad, Wacom or other) would work fine.  It might also be interesting to see if they could develop a pen-shaped mouse - so you could "write" on any surface.  These devices already exist (e.g. this one) but I would love to see if Apple could improve on the concept to get pen-level precision along with pressure and angle sensitivity in order to work like the Pencil does on an iPad.
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