Would Steve Jobs Hate Apple’s New Technology Experiment?
Steve Jobs is said to have had nothing but disdain for a stylus for smartphones and tablets, but a newly published patent application suggests Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working on an advanced pen-like device that can give haptic feedback and improve the user interface.
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Apple continues to spend time and research funding on a future pen-like device that’s being designed to work with all of Apples tablet-styled devices, finds Patently Apple.
According to the patent application, Apple’s smart pen won’t be a straightforward stylus, but one that takes advantage of a user’s sense of touch and sight by creating perceivable forces, vibrations, and motions. Some applications for a device like that could be to confirm the user’s selection of a virtual icon or button, or let the user feel texture. Users would be able to feel vibrations depending on the pressure, the angle of the stylus, its orientation to the screen, and how quickly it may be moving.
Apple also wants to incorporate audio features to the device, creating a built-in mini speaker that gives audio feedback such as simulating sounds of brush or pen strokes. The patent also talks of the possibility of changing the volume of the speaker on the pen based on the amount of pressure being applied to the touch screen surface.
The application also talks about integrating the device with a new graphics or paint program or with known applications such as Autodesk’s (NASDAQ:ADSK) software or Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Paint. In such a scenario, the device may only allow the user to “draw” an image if the tablet and the stylus determine sufficient pressure is being applied onto the touch screen. It could also be programmed to draw only if it’s positioned over a paintable portion of the display.
The application was originally filed toward the end of 2010 and was made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, but just like a lot of other Apple ideas, it may remain a theory and never get uses in commercial products.
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