Apple patents stylus that will write on all surfaces and transmits images to digital screens

Apple patents stylus that will write on all surfaces and transmits images to digital screens
Apple has received a patent for a new stylus or smart pen that will take hand-written texts and drawings and display them on the screen of a device like a smartphone or tablet. This is an accessory that could come in handy in a classroom setting. If a teacher were to use the stylus on a whiteboard in a classroom, an accurate reproduction of the notes could be transmitted to students' tablets.

Interchangeable nibs will allow the user to write in ink or other materials. A capacitive version of the stylus is also mentioned. The latter would be used with the Apple iPad screen in the same manner as a traditional stylus. The device would activate when picked up from its dock, when its tip touches paper, or when it is manually turned on by the user.

A current smart pen, the Livescribe 3, has some of the features that are listed in Apple's patent. However, it is a lot more complicated as it uses an infra-red camera in its tip to capture handwriting, and requires the use of special paper and a large amount of power. Apple's patent, which was filed in 2010, covers a more capable stylus that uses hardware already produced by Apple for the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple would have to break plenty of tradition if it were to eventually offer a stylus for its devices. Steve Jobs' was dead set against the use of a stylus on his iDevices, but Apple has been known to cave to competitive pressures even if it meant going against its departed co-founder's wishes (hence the larger screens on the Apple iPhone 5, Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung has enjoyed success with the S Pen for the Samsung Galaxy Note phablets and now there is talk of LG offering the tool for the LG G4. So don't be surprised if Apple eventually includes a stylus/smart pen with a future version of the iPhone or iPad.

source: USPTO via AppleInsider



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I wonder what Samsung thinks about all of this.

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Different from what the S Pen does. S Pen only works on the Note devices. This will work on ANY surface. Keyword is "ANY" here.

26. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

"Any" meaning apple-only devices.

55. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

And from now on Note devices won't be allowed to use Stylus. Apple did it again! Sigh!!!

101. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Here we go again. 3.5 inch is the standard for smart phone and no need for stylus. How ironic.

63. AlikMalix unregistered

Sure, if you consider any piece of paper, page, or book..... card-stock, cardboard, envelope, coloring book, clipboard, tracing paper, carbon copy sheet, watermarked 20# stock, Christmas card, bill, invoice, contract, whiteboard, felt, canvas.... and in this case (if I understand right): air, wall, desk, glass, screen, android device, back of android device, your hand, his wrist, her palm, a door, a hood of the car, anything solid and smooth enough to draw a line... If you consider those apple-only, than you're right!

69. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It will work on any surface (or even a lack of surface, since it uses its sensors, the motion might be enough). But will it send the information to a non-Apple device?

81. AlikMalix unregistered

Wait, you want apple stylus to work with android devices, you mean like Note 4's stylus works with Apple devices? Oh wait....

89. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I don't want anything, since I don't care for a stylus. Although my Shield tablet has one. But it was just a general remark :)


Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

He clearly and obviously meant the stylus will only transmit to apple branded trinkets, not big boy devices like Android/BB/WP. Reading is hard. iOS users, lol

82. AlikMalix unregistered

Why you gotta be insulting? If you ask me, android is a tinker toy for the nerds who just outgrew their Lego set. (See I can do that too). Don't be an ass!!!

90. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Outgrew Lego? No way, I love my Lego lol. And yes, he was insulting and rather dumb about it too.


Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Don't get snippy with me because one of your guys can't read, made a dumbass comment, and got called out on it.

31. tedkord

Posts: 17397; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But if it had a stylus, that means they failed. I'm confused...

57. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

iP7 coming with a stylus. All brainless sheeps cheer and hail Apple.. A company which is the biggest hypocrite, steals others tech/concepts, sells you overpriced stuffs with an inferior OS in which you can't even browse the file system or delete stuffs put from outside, no respect for customers in emerging markets. #disrespectforAppleCheater

96. AlikMalix unregistered

Wow, you feel better now?

83. AlikMalix unregistered

Please, refer to Steve jobs comments again and this time listen carefully. "If your primary/only input is a stylus - you failed" - meaning finger should still be your only need to input on a touchscreen - that was the point of iphone when most devices required a pen/tool to use the device easily. iPhones had stylus and pen accessories since the beginning - Apple gonna bring it in house - hopefully. I said it before - I love note4 s-pen and it's one thing an android that I'm willing to switch for (the rest is keeping me from it). So it's a welcome addition if Apple would introduce a dedicated stylus to iDevices. Still confused?

88. willard12 unregistered

Stylus- welcome addition large screen - welcome addition notifications- welcome addition command center - welcome addition task switcher - welcome addition Widgets, 4g, wallpapers, nfc (sort of).... It seems the rest would have had you switch a while ago rather than keeping you from it.

94. AlikMalix unregistered

Don't forget: 64bit ecosystem - welcome edition Touch ID - welcome edition Find my friends - welcome edition Find my phone and remote wipe - welcome edition CarPlay - welcome edition And even earlier: App Store, OS integrated voice assistant, interoperability, worry free multitasking, exclusive media, the 300+ ppi was first on an iPhone then everyone went boinkers for it. And things like full control over app permissions (including removing stock apps without jailbreak) that are yet to be seen on android. It's a two way road, buddy, you can't just select items from android and assume iOS doesn't have its "firsts". Dude the whole mobile iOS has been used by average joe for a year before android was even known about by 90% of people.

91. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Please show us where you can buy an Apple brand Stylus on the Apple store. Oh cant. They never wanted them in the first place because of SJ, They are just realizing now how useful they can be, and as usual, late to the party.

95. AlikMalix unregistered

Re-read my post...

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31273; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The stylus existed for phones before Samsung bro. You should say what would Microsoft think, before you say what would Samsung think. Palm might have some thoughts too, if they were still around. Let's face it, due to the Note, the stylus has made a comeback. Kudos to Sammys bold move, but cmon bro.

44. drunkenjay

Posts: 1695; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

but the thing is apple said stylus is old tech and useless. bagged stylus when the first iphone came out. its ironic.

45. darkkjedii

Posts: 31273; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Tell them that.

73. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Because at the time it was, and was and is useless for a 4in phone. Now go forward a few years and here we are. Guess what, Samsung themselves laughed at Android, laughed them out of the meeting room. SO by your logic, Samsung should never be bought because at one point they thought Android was silly and useless. Android lovers never cease to amaze me, they forget how much tech actually existed before their precious device did.


Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Apple lied and was full of sh*t, then completely changed their stance and took a "ME TOO!" approach upon seeing the success others had achieved after they failed? Well I am shocked, just shocked.

19. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Well great to see more competition in Stylus department.

20. maherk

Posts: 6928; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Samsung shouldn't be worried about it. We all know that Apple is great in patenting stuff that they will never ever find a way to make it work, instead will wait for other tech giants to spend money on making it become a reality then sue the crap out of them.

53. neurobiologist

Posts: 89; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

It is so 2012 and already boring, thinks Samsung.

64. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

There's already prior art available for this - If anyone disputes this, it will be tough for Apple to retain the patent. They's just using Wifi/Bluetooth instead of physical wires.

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