Apple granted another "iPen" stylus patent

Apple granted another
As you have probably noticed from the news over the past few hours, today was a big day for Apple patents. Apple apparently had about 30 patents approved, although only a few of them are targeted enough to the mobile sphere to make us interested. We've seen mobile camera lens patents and now we're seeing another patent that points to work on an "iPen" stylus.

This isn't the first "iPen" patent gathered by Apple, and it is unlikely to be the last either. According to Patently Apple, the Cupertino crew has more than 20 patents that could all be part of an Apple stylus, including LiveScribe-like recording, variable pressure and texture input, gesture controls, and more. The newest patent granted today allows for determining the orientation of the stylus through a sensor in the pen as well as a sensor in the slate. 

There could be a number of cool uses for a feature like this from something simple like making the device feel more like various drawing materials, for example a pencil (one end for writing and the other for erasing), or a charcoal stick (using the side for a broad shadows), to more advanced functionality like putting the stylus into power-saving mode depending on the orientation.

This patent was filed in 2011, but it seems fairly obvious that Apple is still putting time and effort into figuring out how to make a stylus that is more than just a "dumb stick", which was why Steve Jobs wanted to avoid it in the first place. It just remains to be seen if Apple will actually build the device and sell it. It seems more likely with the rumored 12.9-inch iPad in the works, but we'll have to see. 

Apple granted another "iPen" stylus patent

source: USPTO via Patently Apple

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39 Comments

1. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I thought apple community proclaimed the stylus dead?

5. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Yep! The kind that came with the palm treo. You actually had to use it to use the touch screen. This is more for artist that like to draw or create things on there tablet. Maybe that's who the 12.9 inch tablet will cater to. I still don't care about seeing this in a phone.

16. hurrycanger

Posts: 1741; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

You know why? That's because the iPhone and iPad have never had a special stylus of its own like some phones and tablets of other companies. That's pretty normal. Once Apple comes up with a stylus for sale, you will see people using styluses (or styli) everywhere.

29. Arirank

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

Except me ! Im using stylus long long time b4 Apple use it. Thanks for Spen. Seem like Everything about Apple just right on ur eyes. Fanboy

30. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

LOL. Have you heard of the Apple newton Fanboy? It had a stylus no? You've been using a stylus way way before it?...that's awesome!

37. hurrycanger

Posts: 1741; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Hey Arirank, you didn't get my sarcasm... both times. xD

38. hurrycanger

Posts: 1741; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Wait... nope. The other one is sarcasm. Not this one. This #16 was serious.

2. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

iPen sound strangely familiar to SPen.

12. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Yeah, but "iPen" is just the media's designation. Plus, iPen already exists:http://www.cregle.com/collections/store/products/imac-model

24. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5465; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

$179????? Geesh

25. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

Guess that: needs charging also!

36. ZeroCide

Posts: 805; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Apple will sue to get iPen name.

3. Kishin

Posts: 706; Member since: May 30, 2013

iPen=SPen Maybe in iOS 1.8 update.

4. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

sure it is, I it's guess someone time to play catch up.

6. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Like Samsung needs to catchup to the finger print scanner, premium materials, 64 bit processor, and what ever else the iPhone 6 comes out with. How is that "S"voice(Siri clone) working out for you?

10. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

S voice works great! Though I still prefer Google Now! Its great to be given choices.

11. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

a phone which has no native file manager or file transfer or a lot of other things should always play catchup

15. willard12 unregistered

Apple created the 64 bit processor, fingerprint scanner, aluminum, and voice commands. Awesome. Ironically, I believe the 64 bit chip probably has "made by Samsung" stamped on the side. S voice works well on the smart watch. One day, Apple will hire enough people to make one....similarly to the way the bought Nuance, an app on many devices for years, in order to "come out" with Siri.

32. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

64 bit processors have been used for a long time before Apple put one that Samsung created into their phone... You Apple people will do anything to get yourselves off to Apple's "innovation"

17. MEeee

Posts: 381; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Voice Talk was on S2 and was released 6 months before iPhone 4S with Sili.

19. hurrycanger

Posts: 1741; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Well, that Voice Talk is still a clone of Siri. If it's similar to what Apple came up with, it's a clone. The fact that it was released a few months before Siri was doesn't matter. It's still a clone. ;)

20. Arirank

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

Yes u right, n this one Ipen'is definitely Spen clone.. :D

7. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

you sound quite dumb, any I idea who manufactured the celebrated 64 bit chip you're talking about. maybe not. problem ain't that Samsung came out first with s pen, but the fact that jobs was so egotistical to say stylus is dead

8. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

you sound quite dumb, any I idea who manufactured the celebrated 64 bit chip you're talking about. maybe not. problem ain't that Samsung came out first with s pen, but the fact that jobs was so egotistical to say stylus is dead

9. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

what happened there

13. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

Maybe they'll sue wacom now

14. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

Exactly! I thought they already had variable input in those pen tabs..

18. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

15 years old commercial technology in Wacom tablets

21. Sauce unregistered

iPen is good patent

22. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Good :) im sure apple will use metal for its pen instead of plastic . Dont get me wrong i looove my spen on galaxy note 10.1 but i want it to be thicker and metalic thats all

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