Apple Invents a Superheterodyne Pen Stimulus Receiver to Overcome the Classic Stylus Latency Problem
On December 4, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new stylus invention relating to an advanced signal detection and demodulation architecture. For a company that supposedly has no interest in a stylus it's amazing that this year alone they've applied for ten new patents covering this type of device. It's evident that Apple has plans of introducing a next-gen smart pen at some point in the future. It's just a matter of time.
While Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear when he first introduced the iPhone back in 2007, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen that would finally provide iDevice users with true to life writing capabilities on an iPhone or iPad. While Microsoft, Samsung and others have offered digital pens for many years, Apple has been quietly working on an advanced digital pen. Their R&D in this area has been extensive as you'll find reviewing our smart pen archives. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published yet another patent application from Apple regarding a digital pen. This invention adds dynamic visual indicators such as a battery indicator and more. Apple also hints that they could add a projector to this new pen. As one of Apple's longest standing projects to date, there's still hope that one of these days we'll see what a smart pen could really do.
On September 18, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of three patent applications from Apple that reveal their ongoing work on developing a future advanced stylus. For the record, Apple now has 30 patent applications on advancing a stylus on record.
While Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear when he first introduced the iPhone back in 2007, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen that would finally provide iDevice users with true to life writing capabilities on an iPhone or iPad. In the future, professions such as Lawyers will be able to speedily mark-up documents on their iPads and doctors will be able to circle areas of concern on an x-ray or sign important documents requesting specialized tests quickly with an iPen. Marketing professionals, students and the rest of us will simply enjoy writing, brain storming and simply doodling quickly while working on an idea. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's twenty-seventh iPen related patent that will now be added to our "Smart Pen" Archives. Apple has been working hard on a future iPen for the last five years. At some point in time this damn has to burst and give life to world's most advanced smart pen. It's now beyond the point of whether they'll ever debut a smart pen or not, but rather when.
Apple Granted Patents for a Cellular Data Connected Smart Pen, the Next Generation of MagSafe with Fiber Optics & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's possible Livescribe competing smart pen and the next generation of MagSafe with a fiber optic line incorporated. One of the questions that arise from the smart pen patent is whether Sir Jony Ive secretly works for UK's MI6.
Apple Invents Cool Status Indicators for Future Macs & iDevices using Electrically Charged Liquid Crystal Droplets and More
Late yesterday Patently Apple discovered a unique patent application from Apple that was published in Europe. The patent contains a feast of cool new ideas floating around Cupertino's R&D labs. Apple's many inventions are illustrated on both MacBooks and a possible future iPen. Apple discusses varying flex display designs and a new illumination process that is very cool. Some of the features described in this latest patent filing could easily be applied to future wearable devices from Apple. All-in-all Apple's European patent application was a lot of fun to explore and I think that you'll really enjoy our report covering its many highlights.
While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear, that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 24 patents to their credit thus far. Today we get to take a look at Apple's fourth and fifth stylus related patents for the first quarter of 2014 alone. In Apple's latest inventions, they describe a sophisticated stylus with an internal mechanism using electrically charged discs that could elongate the tip of the stylus. In standard mode it's a pen. In the extended mode it's a brush with brush-like fibers. Apple's invention will really be appreciated by artists as they've created a very unique feature just for them in respect to color matching. The different modes of operation are designed to provide a more realistic writing and painting experience. In recent weeks, Microsoft has filed for a similar invention using magnets to control the writing and painting experience. This is where the trend is headed. With Apple having invested thousands of man hours on a next generation stylus or digital pen, let's hope that one day soon Apple's CEO Tim Cook will finally give this project the green light to deliver a high-end iDevice accessory for artists and business people alike.
Wow, what a week it's been for Apple's future iPen. It began on Tuesday with a surprise granted patent focused on iPen orientation detection followed by three detailed patent applications covering a multitude of features on Thursday. And while we were busy writing those reports we happen to stumble upon two more iPen patent applications that Apple filed in Europe that same day. The main patent filing is a spectacular overview of a modular iPen design that would allow users to choose different modules for different tasks. One feature, for example, would allow a student or business user giving a presentation to use this iPen as an advanced laser pointer. Apple's latest European filing is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated of them all to date. It's intelligently designed so that Apple will be able to introduce new accessory "expansion modules" over time so as to keep the iPen up to date with the latest and greatest features. In fact, Apple's patent application provides us with a number of possible iPen expansion module examples that they already have in mind.
On Tuesday we were surprised to see that Apple was granted a new iPen patent pertaining to orientation detection. While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 20 patents to their credit thus far. Today, three new iPen related patent applications were published by the US Patent and Trademark Office that cover many new aspects of this invention including a unique eraser function.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on one patent related to stylus orientation detection. While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 20 patents to their credit thus far.
On September 12, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that legendary John Elias that was behind many of Apple's original multitouch patents that made the iPhone a reality is now back at refining the patent claims of a smart pen design that he first introduced in 2011.
On August 29, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new and elaborate collaboration system for videoconferencing that could be useful for the enterprise or for future distant leaning applications. The system introduces new interactive pie menus that will work with a sophisticated pen that will include memory and other advanced functions. Apple notes that as the pen advances toward the menu presented on a large presentation screen, an opening will automatically be created in the menu so that no content is covered by the presenter's hand or arm. Additionally, Apple notes that the new menu system will work with custom applications designed for this system yet also work with traditional software such as Photoshop, PowerPoint, and other common applications. Apple must think this is an important invention considering that this is a follow-up application to their already granted patent issued back in March.
Every once in a while we check out various IP databases around the world to see if we could find any Apple activity. Well, Bingo, we found three all new smart pen patents from Apple that are chock full of great ideas. In between Apple's US patent filings published in May and December, Apple's engineers were filing new patents in Europe that were published just two months ago. These have not been published in the US yet and so they're new to us. And boy does Apple go deeply into the rabbit hole or what. Apple has a ton of new ideas on how to advance the smart pen. Yet the one twist that I thought was intriguing is that Apple appears to be seriously thinking of turning smart pen tips into an accessory business. Do you want your pen to be a brush? No problem, here is a new pen tip for that: Ka-Ching. Do you want your pen to double as a bar code reader? No Problem, here is a tip for that: Ka-Ching. And there are a lot of "Ka-Chingy" ideas in these three new patents to go around. Check it out.
Our last patent report for 2012 goes to a new patent application that was published by the US Patent office last week regarding an advanced "Active Stylus." Over the years, Apple has stated that they weren't interested in a 7" iPad and now it's going to be one of Apple's hottest selling products in 2013. Apple denied they had interest in a cellphone of their own and storing data in the sky, now the cloud, was quite humorous to Steve Jobs. Yes, Apple has said they weren't interested in certain products just to turn around and actually deliver them as the next great thing. The old boring dumb stick called the stylus is another one that Steve Jobs supposedly didn't like and at the time it made sense. Yet it's just a known fact that Apple's engineers have been working on "reinventing" the stylus for years now, contrary to their public stance. Even the idea that it was too easy to lose a stylus has been overcome with the advent of Apple's work with encoded magnets that's behind the iPad's Smart Cover product. Today, the stylus is more like a crayon than a pen. Samsung's Galaxy Note product with a stylus is a case in point. It just sucks as a pen. Apple's latest invention introduces the "active stylus" to overcome common stylus problems and names the iPhone and iPad by name as products that may be able to take advantage of the active stylus in the future.
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two major patent applications from Apple relating to a future iPen. In our first report published this morning titled "Apple Sheds More Light on their iPen & Graphics Program," we covered Apple's push into specialized haptics for a future iPen. In our second report, we focus on Apple's consideration of using an optical based iPen. The unique angle taken by Apple's optical pen is a fascinating approach to determine a pen's location on a tablet surface. One of the secrets utilized in this approach uses invisible indicia.
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that sheds more light on their future iPen and related graphics program. Apple continues to spend time and R&D funding on a future iPen device that's being designed to work with all of Apple's tablet-styled iDevices. The focus found in today's invention is twofold. Firstly, Apple is thinking of adding advanced haptics to the iPen so that the end user will be able to feel brush strokes and/or line thicknesses for example. Secondly, Apple is designing the iPen with a built-in mini speaker so as to provide users with various forms of audio feedback. To make all of this interesting and relevant, Apple sheds a little light on how their iPen will work with either a new graphics/paint program of their own and/or with known apps such as Autodesk and Microsoft's Paint.
Once in a while we're treated to a new Apple invention that virtually contains a new self-contained world of possibilities and vocabulary to enrich it. It comes out of the blue and feeds our need for meaty new technology brimming with potential. Today is such a day. This is such an invention. Apple's invention reveals a wild world of programmable magnetic devices, and more particularly, to security for computing devices and peripherals that may be provided by programmable magnets. And yet, it reveals so much more than that. Apple envisions this technology eventually working into iOS devices to produce wild haptic effects using Ferrofluids on touchscreens and virtual keyboards. It will also allow Apple's iOS to present light based points on the display as a way to guide a user through a process like a teacher. This is wild stuff folks and it only scratches the surface of what's to come. Grab a coffee, sit back and really enjoy one of the most fascinating patent applications to have surfaced in some time. Update 4 PM MST: Apple reveals inductive charging and/or other wireless charging using coded magnets coming to a new MacBook Dock in a secondary patent.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the most important patents within this group is for a super smart-pen. In fact, it's so smart that it's described as being a portable computer. The smart-pen, which is noted as using an ARM processor, is also likely to incorporate recording capabilities and act as a pager, as the pen incorporates a tiny LCD. The patent notes that the device's rechargeable battery may also incorporate pyroelectricity and a custom-built solar cell. It should be noted that Apple has likely acquired this patent from a Great Britain inventor who originally filed the patent in 1998 or nine years prior to Livescribe coming to market. This is important – as a recent Apple patent application which reflects Livescribe-like capabilities is actually building on the foundation of this newly granted patent and advances the smart pen to include voice, face and object recognition modules and more. This is Apple's thirteenth smart-pen related patent since 2009. The trend illustrates that Apple is attempting to develop a family of smart pens for future iOS devices that would appeal to both the artist and enterprise user. The depth of innovation illustrated in Apple's string of smart-pen patents goes far beyond purely defensive measures.
Apple's Future iPen May Include a Unique Heating Element, Integrated Docking System & Work with Ordinary Paper
According to our Smart Pen Archives, Apple has now filed more than a dozen smart pen patent applications over the last few years with each one getting more innovative and detailed. One of the most advanced patent applications on smart pens to date was published this past April and one of two patent applications on this subject published today illustrates that Apple is really trying to find a smart pen solution that could also work with ordinary paper. Students and professional doodlers alike could work on ordinary paper and/or notebooks and then simply transfer their data to the device of their choosing when they're done. Other equally innovative ideas that surfaced today include a unique heating element that provides the iPen's tip with smooth action on the display in any temperature and even an integrated iPen dock to charge the Pen's battery. With Apple working on so many advanced iPen options of late, it's evident that the Crazy Ones in Cupertino think that they're closing in on the perfect smart pen.
A number of patents have surfaced over the last two years concerning light pens and apps moving to touch screens. While one of the first detailed patents surfaced in 2009 in relation to business forms, we've since seen some serious advances in Apple's pursuit of the Smart-Pen including a huge leap in the field of graphics pens. It's the latter that's interesting in light of Apple's latest patent revelation that Aperture is coming to touch displays including handhelds like the iPad. It may even come to future desktops and laptops that offer touch displays, according to Apple. An advanced graphics pen would be great for fast photo touch-ups and appreciated by photographers using Aperture on-the-go. Who knows, maybe Apple is even gearing this up for future hybrid systems. Time will tell.
If I didn't carefully read the overview of a recent Apple patent, I could have easily missed the entire revelation of a new smart pen system that is being worked on in Apple's hallowed Cupertino labs. Although Apple has been amassing smart pen patents over recent years, nothing comes close to this one. The funny thing about this one is – there's not a single smart pen graphic to be had. No, this patent is different. This patent provides us with an overview, a master plan of how a smart pen could fit into the bigger picture. Apple is working on a very complex information collecting and retrieval system that is military grade and the smart pen simply plays a major role. Prior to the iPhone coming to market, the naysayers said that Apple would never get into the phone business. They just didn't get Apple's vision of "Think Different" – no matter their lip-service to the concept. Well, it's time to think different, again – whether they like it, or not.