Apple wins a Patent for possible next-gen Apple Pencil Features such as a Rolling Gesture for Zoom Functionality
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple granted patent that relates to next-gen Apple Pencil features. One such feature is referred to as a 'rolling gesture' feature as our cover graphic depicts.
Apple Pencil 2 was introduced in October 2018 and made available in early November. In today's patent application, some of Apple Pencil 2's features are touched on such as one edge being flat to accommodate its new charging format and to a certain degree the double tap feature.
Like with many inventions, Apple's engineers provide an overview of the Apple Pencil device invention. Features outlined in the patent filing could be released when Apple's executive team sign off on them when they're ready for market while others are pushed out to a future version of the device, in this case for Apple Pencil 3.
Considering that Apple Pencil 2 has already laid out some of the foundational aspects of this invention, our report will focus on what else could be coming to Apple Pencil 3 sometime in the future according to Apple's latest patent application.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 below illustrates that multiple touch sensors (#200) could be set into future Apple Pencil in contrast to a single touch sensor area that has been built into Apple Pencil 2.
Each of the multiple touch sensors could extend within a different portion of the housing (#110). The touch sensors could be spaced apart from each other. At least one of the touch sensors could extend along the grip region (#104).
Apple further notes that "Gestures detected by the separate touch sensors could be interpreted as different user inputs according to preprogrammed functions to be performed by Apple Pencil and/or an external device upon detection of the user gestures."
Apple's patent FIG. 5 below illustrates that a secondary touch area for gestures could be placed towards the top of Apple Pencil. Gestures detected at an end of Apple Pencil could be interpreted differently than gestures provided at other locations, such as the grip region.
Apple's patent FIG. 6 simply illustrates that gestures including tapping on Apple Pencil in any zone to have a feature applied, like Apple Pencil 2 today.
New Sliding Gesture: Apple's patent FIG. 7 illustrates a "sliding" gesture. For example, longitudinal or other sliding gestures could be interpreted as a user input to change a characteristic (e.g., color, size, width, thickness, shape, etc.) of a marking produced by use of Apple Pencil with the external device.
By further example, longitudinal or other sliding gestures could be interpreted as a user input to perform functions on the external device, such as a copy function, a paste function, an undo function, and/or a redo function.
New Rolling Gesture: As shown in patent FIG. 8 above, the touch sensor can be used to detect a rolling gesture by the user. The rolling gesture can include movement of a finger about a circumference of the housing and/or rolling movement of the housing over a surface, such as a working surface. Multiple sensing elements of the touch sensor 200 distributed circumferentially within the housing could be used in concert to detect particular user inputs.
For example, rotational gestures could be interpreted as a user input to perform functions on the external device, such as zooming in or out of a displayed view and/or scaling the size or other aspect of an object displayed on the external device.
Lastly, as shown in FIG. 21 above, the assembly including the support member (#120), the elastic insert (#122), and the touch sensors could be inserted into the housing (#110).
As always, Apple makes it clear that any feature for Apple Pencil presented in this latest patent application could be modified and used in other devices like a TV, Magic Mouse, Apple Watch, a display and so forth.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,340,716.