Cupertino has recently applied for a patent on a haptic pen. Haptic technology senses and simulates force and movement, and the stylus pen with this technology could become part of Apples touch devices, including the next iPad 4 or even iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 & iPad 4 may come with stylus support
The US Patent & Trademark Office revealed last week that the iPen will sense movements on lines and graphics and gives force feedback to the user. The stylus may have a speaker built into it to help this process. This stylus could maybe work across all touch display devices, including future versions of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
According to Patently Apple, the iPen would be “an input device capable of generating haptic feedback may help a user navigate content displayed on the display screen, and may further serve to enhance the content of various applications by creating a more appealing and realistic user interface.” Users will get “haptic feedback” including vibrations, audio and other force movements from the iPen. These sensations will be emitted by sensors.
An example of this feedback is if the iPen feels a user is trying to draw a graphic and not applying enough pressure or drawing a wavy line, it may vibrate to warn the user into changing the pressure of choosing another graphic. The iPen may also feature capacitive sensors, which means they can respond to swiping, scrolling and touch movements. With in-built gyroscopes and accelerometers it could even detect and react to mid-air movements.
With the iPen, the iPad and its chums will finally be able to compete with devices like Samsung’s 5” Galaxy Note and the upcoming new version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Both the Samsung phone and tablet features a stylus pen which makes it popular with corporate and business users as well as those who like to write/draw.
It’s thought that the stylus could be solar-powered according to the patent’s details, although it could also be powered by a secondary battery which makes more sense. With iOS 6 rumored to be unveiled at WWDC 2012 next month, we may see hints of stylus input technology.