Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published two continuation patents of Apple's regarding future iterations of Apple Pencil. The first is titled "Input Device for Touch Sensitive Displays." You could review the details of this invention in Patently Apple's detailed report that was published in January 2014. The changes to this patent are limited to the patent claims and little changed. In Apple's second continuation patent regarding Apple Pencil, Apple has made some major changes and our report will focus on those changes.
The second Apple Pencil patent filing published today is a continuation patent even if doesn't state that it is. It's a continuation patent because in the patent claims Apple has cancelled patent claims 7, 8, 10, 11 and 17.
The initial Apple Pencil patent application provides us with insight as to what Apple actually cancelled in this current filing. The initial patent was first covered by Patently Apple last month in a report titled "Apple to Advance Apple Pencil to Work with Next-Gen Magic Trackpad for Macs." Below are the actual claims that Apple specifically cancelled in their current patent application published today that weren't detailed.
#1: The Patent Claims that Apple Cancelled
Patent Claim 7: The stylus defined in claim 5 wherein the inertial sensor mode comprise a rotational controller mode in which rotational input is gathered by the control circuitry using the inertial sensor.
Patent Claim 8: The stylus defined in claim 5 wherein the inertial sensor mode comprises an air mouse mode in which motion input is gathered by the control circuitry using the inertial sensor.
Patently Claim 10: The stylus defined in claim 2 wherein the elongated body has a tip at the first end and wherein the inertia sensor mode comprises a joystick mode in which tilt data is gathered by the control circuitry using the inertial sensor while the tip contacts the touch screen display.
Patent Claim 11: The stylus defined in claim 10 wherein the inertial sensor is located at the second end.
Patently Claim 17: A stylus, comprising: a body having opposing first and second ends; a tip at the first end; an electrode at the first end that emits electromagnetic signals for a touch sensor; an inertial sensor at the second end; wireless circuitry; and control circuitry that operates in a first mode in which the electromagnetic signals are emitted and a second mode in which inertial sensor data from the inertial sensor is wirelessly transmitted using the wireless circuitry.
#2: The New Elements added to the Apple Pencil Invention
The new elements added to last month's patent filing are mainly covered in patent figures 5, 7 and 8 illustrated below.
Apple's patent FIG. 5 noted above is a diagram of a portion of an illustrative Apple Pencil body that has been provided with a touch sensor that extends along the length of the stylus and that wraps around the circumference of the stylus; FIG. 7 is cross-sectional end view of an illustrative stylus with a touch sensor; FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a portion of an illustrative stylus having a touch sensor with an electrode pattern that provides longitudinal touch position information
Apple further notes that the positions of a user's two fingers may be simultaneously gathered and used to determine how a user is rotating the Apple Pencil about axis #24 (FIG. 7).
Apple's continuation patent 20160179222 notes the inventor of the patent was Ray Chang; Apple's Sr. Input Devices Electrical Engineering Manager. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of this new dimension to Apple Pencil to market is unknown at this time. For more on Apple Pencil patents, see our archives.
For interest sake, in 2015 Chang's team was responsible for the integrated force touchpads, Integrated Keyboard on MacBook, Siri Remote, Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Mouse 2.
Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 6pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.