Apple has explored building different kids of styluses compatiblewith the iPhone and iPad, including an optical stylus, and ahandheld pointer with haptic feedback. Apple’s interest was detailed in a pair of patent applicationspublished this week and discovered by AppleInsider . The first, entitled Haptic Input Device , shows a pen that could receive input from a touch-based devicelike an iPhone, while the second, Optical Stylus , would feature a camera pressure sensor for more precise control. In the haptic stylus filing, Apple notes that with a traditionaltouchscreen device, users can only feel “the rigid surface of thetouch screen,” rather than sensing textures, individual icons andother objects represented digitally on the screen. Outdoor Advertising LED Display
A solution tothis could be a stylus with haptic feedback. “An input device capable of generating haptic feedback may help auser navigate content displayed on the screen, and may furtherserve to enhance the content of various applications by creating amore appealing and realistic user interface,” the filing reads,noting that haptic feedback could be provided with any force,vibration or motion that could be sensed by the user. Apple has shown considerable interest in haptic feedback with iOSdevices in recent patent applications published by the U.S. Patentand Trademark Office. One filing unveiled earlier this weekdescribed a system that would allow users to feel textures with their fingertips, while another filing from March presented a concept that would use actuators to provide hapticfeedback, and also measure the force with which a user touches aniPhone or iPad screen. Indoor SMD LED Display
Apple’s second patent filing discovered this week for an opticalstylus notes that traditional, plastic styluses cannot be used toregister input on a capacitive touchscreen like is found on theiPhone or iPad. In addition, styluses offer a point smaller than afinger tip, which can give users more precise control. Apple’s optical stylus would include a sensor, such as a camera,that would determine a location and movement of the stylus relativeto the touchscreen. The stylus could be configured to eithertransmit location and movement to the computing device, or toprocess and filter the location and movement prior to transmission,rather than sending raw data. “The relative position of the optical stylus may be determinedbased on indicia detectable by the optical stylus,” the filingreads. Stage Led Screens
“The indicia may further be used in determining the movementof the optical stylus. The indicia may include pixel dependentindicia that are communicated via the pixels displayed by the touchscreen or physical or permanent indicia that are physically presenton or in the screen…. (that) are imperceptible to the human eye.” Apple’s patent filings have previously shown the company’s behind-the-scenes takes on styluses for touchscreendevices. One concept discovered last year described concepts such as a “heated stylus” for more preciseinteraction. Despite continued stylus-based patent filings from Apple, theprospect of an official Apple stylus for the iPhone or iPad hasbeen largely dismissed because of comments made by the companydisparaging stylus-driven user interfaces.
Late Apple co-founderSteve Jobs famously said: “If you see a stylus, they blew it.” The haptic stylus filing revealed this week was first filed byApple with the USPTO in November of 2010, and is credited toinventors Aleksandar Pance and Omar Sze Leung. The optical stylusapplication was also filed in November of 2010 and includes Leungas an inventor, as well as David I. Simon and David Amm.