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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple has patented a possible next-generation Apple Pencil that can sample colors from the real world and then input that same color onto an iPad, as well as other features, including the ability to sample textures.


The patent, reported by Patently Apple, describes an Apple Pencil with color sensors built into the tip of the pencil that can sample the surface of real-world objects and detect their color. Images in the patent show the Apple Pencil may come with a built-in light ambient sensor, light emitter, and a light detector that can detect the color and texture of a surface.

Like with all patents, it doesn't reveal when such a feature or product will launch, if ever. Apple filed a patent for a similar feature in June 2020, and three years later, no such update to the Apple Pencil has been made. The second-generation Apple Pencil was announced in 2018, with no clear indication of when a third-generation model could debut.

Apple has added new capabilities to the Apple Pencil with improved iPad hardware and new iPadOS features. For example, the new M2 iPad Pro has a feature called Apple Pencil hover, allowing users to hover the pencil over the iPad to know where exactly the Apple Pencil will touch the display.

Article Link: Apple Patents Apple Pencil That Can Sample Colors From Real-World Surfaces


macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2011


Mar 15, 2018
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macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2022
Being a digital illustrator, I absolutely love the Apple Pencil and believe it is superior to any third-party drawing stylus. However, I don’t see myself particularly needing a feature like colour detection. Unless it can help me repaint all the beautiful sunsets I see 🥴🥴🥴

I would love if the Apple Pencil had Find My compatibility and the capacity to emit a sound so I can lose my knack for losing things (although I have never misplaced my Apple Pencil). I would love for them to get rid of the ugly line around the base as well as the symbols at the top. Maybe a splash of colour, ever so subtle, with different possessing different colours.
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macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
Scribble did this in 2014, hope they patented it.

What exactly do you think they did in 2014? The Kickstarter got $366k — 3.6x its funding goal — but they cancelled it. If you click on the link, you'll go to a page where you can ORDER NOW with ONLY 1 DAY LEFT. Do you really think the "offer" will not be available tomorrow? Why do you think this is real?


macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2008
Scribble did this in 2014, hope they patented it.

Just read the comments. It was (and is) a scam.

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macrumors 68040
May 10, 2005
Shropshire, UK
I've seen several folks at Apple using the Palette Pico day to day, but this is still incredibly niche. If this costs like $60 more than the regular Pencil 2, I doubt many will buy it.

Oh, many will - and most will go on to use the colour functionality a grand total of two or three times.


macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2017
I still remember the projected keyboard on Mac, the MacBook without “physical keys”… all patented! Great products came after that. Oh wait!

Joe Dohn

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2020
This patent is absolutely ridiculous. Nothing stops anyone from adding a camera into a stylus and make it snap a photo, extracting then the color sample out of it.

In fact, there have been applications out there for quite a while that already allow to use your cell phone camera as a colorimeter, going as far as decomposing the color into a CMYK recipe for you (e.g, if you need to replicate the color with physical pigments).


macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
As a teacher that uses my iPad Pro for basic graphic design, I would love this. There are other ways to match real world colors, but this would make it much easier. Love the Apple Pencil 2, btw...It's been entirely worth the cost for my use case (notes, scribbles, meme-making, and basic graphic design).
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