Feeds

Proof Apple is GOING BACKWARDS: It's trying to patent a Newton-ish touchscreen stylus

Hey, who are you looking at, tip head?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Apple has applied for a patent in the US that describes a stylus with a changeable tip for touchscreen gadgets.

The filing, submitted this week to Uncle Sam's Patent and Trademark Office, shows a pointy stick that works with an iOS device, and sports a head that can be switched from a conventional pen-tip to other attachments, such as a brush tip.

"The input device includes a body, a nib or tip movably coupled to the body, and an actuator operably connected to the body and the nib," Apple's Joel Armstrong-Muntner wrote in the application's paperwork.

"The actuator moves the nib from a first position to a second position, and in the first position the input device provides a first input to the computing device and in the second position the input device provides a second input to the computing device."

Apple stylus patent

What a time to be alive ... Apple's magic wand from the patent filing

Today's iOS devices, from the iPhone to the iPad Mini, are all finger-driven with no need for a stylus (although third-party ones exist).

We suspect long-time staff at the Cupertino corporation may look upon the pointy doodads and shudder. Apple's last use of a stylus was with the Newton MessagePad, an ill-fated personal assistant device (PDA) that the company sold between 1993 and 1998, and its cousin the eMate in 1997 to 1998. Both gadgets were eventually muscled out of the market by the likes of Palm and other PDA specialists, and suffered from notoriously poor handwriting recognition on early models.

Apple Newton MessagePad

Newton MessagePad ... Eat up Martha

Given the technological advances since those days, it is safe to say that a contemporary Apple stylus would be far more useful and could have some very fun and interesting use cases within iOS on Retina display iPads. Changing the tip heads could change the brush stroke size in an on-screen painting app, perhaps.

As always, we're taking the filing with more than a few grains of salt. The patent application is just that; a filed application submitted by the company. Even if Cupertino gets the patent approved, there is no guarantee that the device will be packaged and flogged to fanbois.

Still, the prospect of an Apple iOS pen or paintbrush would be intriguing, particularly for the creative and educational markets. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi
These are the movement detection devices you're looking for
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
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.