Feeds

Steve Jobs' death clears way for vibrating Apple tool

Actually he was alive when patent was submitted, but still a surprise

Boost IT visibility and business value

Steve Jobs famously hated the idea of styluses on tablet computers. But, er, it looks like Apple is thinking about making one given the revelations from the US Patent Office yesterday.

The Patent Office has published two pending patent applications from Apple relating to styluses that would work with iPad and iPhone: the first dubbed the "Haptic Input Device" and the second the "Optical Stylus".

Steve Jobs was actually alive when the applications were submitted November 2010: Aleksandar Pance and Omar Leung submitted the "Haptic" patent application and Leung, David Amm and David Simon applied for the "Optical" patent. But then, Jobs often changed his mind. Maybe the great man had come round to the pen idea by late 2010.

Different iPen mechanisms are sketched out in the patents. The Haptic, as the name suggests, is a sensory affair and will allow users to "feel" qualities like brush strokes and line thickness. The second idea uses a light and camera mechanism.

Buzzing pad poker

The "Haptic" patent application describes a stylus with a "haptic actuator", which will buzz or transmit subtle pressure to the user's hand according to how the pen moves. It will feature a gyroscope and accompanying audio that will imitate the sounds of a pen or brush on paper.

The camera-and-laser pad poker

The iPen sketched out in the second application is a super complicated optical piece of work. The stylus would rely on cameras, wireless channels and invisible patterns etched on the iPad screen to allow the user to create patterns in the air that would be replicated on their iPad.

Consequently, the "Optical" iPen will work whether or not it is touching the screen.

With a camera embedded in the middle of the shaft, the "Optical" uses location technology to determine the position of the pen relative to the screen.

The camera would respond to an "invisible" map overlaid on the iPad screen to work out where it was to very high degrees of accuracy. These invisible map patterns could be made with chemicals, lasers or IR ink printed on the screen.

Though the second iPen may have a pressure sensor (as seen in one of the possible iterations sketched out by the patent) it wouldn't input to the device through the touchscreen. The pressure recorded would trigger the camera/light sensor and communicate with the iPad by a wireless channel.

No more fondling those slabs fanbois, you'll be jabbing them. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.