Apple patents new Active Stylus for iDevices


While Apple is known for their stance against the stylus, apparently that hasn't stopped them from working on one. A new patent application discovered by Patently Apple, published by U.S. Patent & Trademark Office shows that the Cupertino company has a new, revolutionary new stylus device dubbed “Active Stylus”.

We all know that just because an idea or device is patented doesn't mean we'll ever see it come to market, but that's besides the point. The fact that Apple is putting its resources towards the very thing they've designed their software (iOS) away from makes me wonder. Yes, Jobs once said that “if you see a stylus, they blew it”, but he also said no one would want a 7 inch tablet, which we all know is not the case. While we're on the topic, I don't think it's fair to say, “well Steve said” when talking about Apple's future plans. As much as we may wish he still was, Apple isn't in his control anymore, Tim Cook will take the company in what direction he sees fit, regardless of Steve's thoughts or opinions.

As for the Active Stylus itself, Patently Apple describes how this new device is different from the traditional stylus. Instead of blocking the electric the electric field lines between the drive and the sense electrodes in a capacitive touch panel like conventional models, “the styluses disclosed in this patent filing can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both”.

I love the way mobile technology has progressed around our fingers, but I can't deny that a stylus is helpful at times; whether it be pressing a small button on your iPhone, or getting the perfect brush stroke on your iPad. In fact these are the two devices mentioned in the patent application itself. Only time will tell whether this will become a reality, but what's your take on a stylus for your iOS device?

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