Apple Pencil's 2nd-Gen Patent comes to Light introducing Touch Sensitive Housing with Eraser Tool & more
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to their second generation Apple Pencil that introduces a touch sensitive surface that could be tapped and have tools like an eraser made available to users. The patent places emphasis on the new deformation feedback surface of Apple Pencil 2 and the components that make the new functionality and features possible.
Apple Pencil 2 with Touch Surfaces & Deformation Feedback
At one point, Apple's patent states "there is a need for electronic devices to include more sophisticated feedback mechanisms and components for providing user feedback that is responsive to the user's physical interaction with such electronic devices.
The techniques and components described in the patent can enable electronic devices to detect an amount of user contact that is applied to a part of the electronic device (e.g., housing, distal tip, proximal tip, etc.) and generate an amount of tactile feedback based on the amount of contact.
Such techniques and components may be beneficial to graphical artists drawing with an electronic stylus (Apple Pencil 2), where the digital representations of their graphical designs is heavily dependent upon the amount of tactile feedback that they receive during the drawing.
One of the components described is a "deformation feedback component" which can be interchangeably used with the term "feedback component", and refers to adjusting an amount of feedback by a feedback component according to the amount of a contact stimulus that is applied against the part of the electronic device.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a perspective view of system #100 for generating deformation feedback by a touch sensitive device (#140 Apple Pencil 2).
In patent FIG. 16 shown below, the electroactive substrate #1650 shown on a possible future Apple Pencil could be configured to deform (e.g., contract) to simulate the perception that the electroactive substrate is an eraser when used in coordination with a media application.
In Apple's patent FIG. 20 below we're able to see a system view of an exemplary list of feedback preferences associated with data items that can be executed by application #1920. In one example, the user can select "Media Tool Type" #2010, and choose #7 for eraser.
Apple's patent FIGS. 12A-12D below illustrate cross-sectional views of various embodiments of a touch sensitive device #1200 (Apple Pencil 2) that is configured to generate deformation feedback.
Apple notes that in some embodiments, the electroactive substrate #1250 can be configured to provide sensing capabilities. In some examples, as the user's appendage grips against the electroactive substrate, one or more sensors positioned adjacent to the electroactive substrate can determine a change in voltage difference (e.g., capacitance) as a result of the mechanical strain applied against the electroactive substrate.
Apple also noted that the plurality of electroactive substrates on the walls of Apple Pencil 2's housing wouldn't be seen and meld into pencil having the same finish, texture and reflective finish – meaning that the electroactive substances wouldn't be noticeable by the user.
Apple Updates Patent Claims
Technically this is a continuation patent. However, because we never covered this as a patent application or granted patent, our report illustrates some key points and patent figures about Apple's invention that covers Apple pencil 2.
As a continuation patent, we know that Apple has since updated their Apple Pencil 2 patent and those changes are always present in the patent claims alone.
In the original granted patent, the claims generically refer to Apple Pencil simply as "a device." In today's continuation patent Apple's claim #1 refers to the device as an "electronic pencil." The original patent emphasized the "distal tip" whereas today's patent now emphasizes stimulus originating from the walls of the exterior of Apple Pencil.
The original patent claims also emphasized "orientation" or "feedback" based on "the load path." Today's patent update emphasizes "direction of the force" on the walls of Apple Pencil.
The patent updated their claim related to a Method with emphasis on a feedback force component responding to the stimulus applied to the walls of Apple Pencil's housing.
Apple added an all new claim with the following verbiage: "An electronic accessory device for use with a touch sensitive portion of an electronic device, the electronic accessory device comprising: a housing capable of carrying operational components, the operational components including: a processor capable of providing operational instructions; a sensor coupled to the processor, wherein the sensor is capable of detecting a region of the housing that is exposed to a stimulus originating from a source external to the housing, and responding by (i) determining properties of the stimulus, and (ii) transmitting the properties of the stimulus to the processor; and a feedback component that is responsive to an instruction received from the processor, wherein the instruction causes the feedback component to selectively deform the region of the housing, and an amount of the deformation is based on the properties of the stimulus."
Apple's patent application that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q1 2019. Considering that patent 20190196607 is a continuation patent application, the date of the original invention/patent actually goes back to Q3 2016. Although this is a continuation patent with new additions, the basic patent is considered a patent fulfilled.
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