The rumor mill has been a busy bee, and we have some interesting new developments on the Apple gadget front. For instance, in addition to the new patent for a smartphone joystick, Apple just filed a patent for a stylus.
Before you go yawning, you should know that this stylus could be something special. First of all, it's rumored that this will be released with the monster 12.9 inch iPad "Pro." Secondly, it could have features built in that will let you interact with your tablet in a whole new way.
A stylus on a smartphone or tablet is a useful companion, but Apple seems to think it now holds a patent on the next big step in stylus technology. What in the world is this stylus supposed to do?
Is this new gadget accessory just a gimmick to boost sales? Apple haters may think so, but I'm not so sure that's the case. The patents show that Apple seems to have a pretty good idea.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, a reliable source of Apple news, reported, "Given that it's more precise than a person's fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases. Therefore, we believe Apple's stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad."
The new stylus is shown in the patent images to have an extendable nib that will change the width of the stroke in a program, which is useful for sketching and graphic design work. You can see how the nib works in the image below. Image courtesy of Apple Insider.
Kuo also reports that while the stylus may not have many special features when it's first released, eventually it can have gyroscopic sensors or accelerometers to interact with the iPad Pro. There is even an image showing the possibility of haptic feedback with the stylus. That means that a user would be able to "feel" textures and items on the digital screen.
"The addition of a gyroscope accelerometer to a stylus allows users to write not only on the display, but also on other hard surfaces and even in the air," Kuo wrote. "While this is a fantastic application for a stylus, we think the required software and hardware is not fully developed yet. Hence, we don't expect Apple's stylus to support 3D handwriting in 2015."
You can see the haptic feedback idea in the image below. Image courtesy of Apple Insider.