COULD 2015 be the year of the iPen? Apple has been granted a patent for a smart pen that automatically translates scribbles on paper to digital form. The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple the patent 8,922,530 for the Communicating Stylus, a device used for writing on paper, whiteboards and as a stylus on iPads and iPhones.
Apple Insider reported the new patent, which would use internal sensors to track movement which would then be translated to digital form.
Steve Jobs famously dismissed a stylus as a device for people who could not use a finger. Jobs was clear on the topic of whether people needed an extra device to control a smartphone. In 2007, Jobs said “nobody wants a stylus”. Three years later he said “if you see a stylus, they blew it.”.
Yet while he was publicly dismissive of the device, this new patent that was lodged in 2010, the year before Jobs died, showing that behind the scenes he was willing to consider another way. Patently Apple, which keeps track of patents lodged by the Cupertino-based tech giant, records that Apple has lodged ten smart pen patents this year.
All up, Fortune reports Apple has lodged more than 30 patents for a smart stylus, which suggests that the “nobody wants a stylus” line isn’t believed by everyone at Apple.
While nobody expects Apple to start shipping a stylus with their next iPhone, one theory is that Apple might make a digital pen to match the reported “iPad Pro” with a 12-13 inch screen which is rumoured to be coming next year.
This latest patent lists the inventor as Aleksandar Pance, who has previously been granted patents for stylus-like devices, advanced keyboards and magnetic fasteners… see more