Apple's 'Communicating Stylus' for Capturing Digital Versions of Handwritten Notes Wins Patent

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today was awarded a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that concerns a new type of digital stylus that translates a user's handwritten note into a digital version when connected to a smartphone, tablet, or any "digital computing device" (via Apple Insider).

    The patent also details various exchangeable tips for the stylus, including actual ink, markers for a whiteboard, or a rubberized nub akin to most popular tablet styli. The stylus activates when various motion-sensing hardware, including accelerometers, detects when the pen is picked up out of its dock, pressed to a writing surface, or simply turned on manually.

    Thanks to motion sensors able to detect a 3D plane, the stylus uses an initial zero point to transmit the movement and flow of handwriting as varying changes in position to the desired computing device. This technology also means an actual surface isn't needed to transmit data -- simply writing notes in the air would suffice. The patent even details ways for users to choose how the data is transmitted, including continuously or at chosen intervals, allowing battery life to be preserved.

    As noted by Apple Insider, there are many practical solutions for Apple's new patent. The pen allows a user to display their writing on multiple displays, a possible solution for work meetings and classrooms. It could also be a digital solution for note-taking, as the user would take notes with the pen on a paper tablet, and a digital copy would be sent to a phone or tablet tucked away in a bag. The automatically produced digital backup could then be more easily edited and shared.

    The patent isn't exactly new, being initially filed nearly five years ago in January of 2010, and is by no means a confirmation that Apple will be moving forward with a smart stylus of any kind. But, like most patents, it is an interesting glimpse into what possibilities the company is looking into for the future.

    Article Link: Apple's 'Communicating Stylus' for Capturing Digital Versions of Handwritten Notes Wins Patent
  2. Indian Devil macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2014
  3. stewy macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Kingston, ON
  4. groovyd Suspended


    Jun 24, 2013
  5. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Love the Livescribe products and have never been truly bothered by the need to use their paper, however this is the direction the technology should be taking.
  6. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    The one for the rectangle with rounded corners was one of the most important. :D
  7. HurtinMinorKey macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2012
    This patent must have some very specific apparatus claims since text recognition is very old tech.
  8. Z400Racer37, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014

    Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    But..... Handwriting is dead and stuff..... wth??

    Theres gotta be some hidden functionality in here right? Like the non mechanical click, pressure sensitive trackpad patent that became the Watch screen?
  9. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
  10. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
  11. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    Exactly. We already have 10 built in.
  12. Sandstorm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Riga, Latvia
    Fingers crossed this means Apple is considering stylus... I absolutely, totally would love and use stylus input on an iPad (Pro?) for various creative purposes.
  13. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    I'm not sure what's unique about this to award it a patent. But Apple has at least 20 patents/patent applications for some sort of smart pen. How long does it take for them to bring something like that to market? You want to really kill off Microsoft Surface? Introduce proper pen support for iPad.


    Yes for the majority of things one does on an iPad a stylus is not needed. :)
  14. flottenheimer macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2008
    Up north
    So, in one scenario, this special pen would let me write on paper – with ink – resulting in both a paper and a digital copy of the note? Correct?

    If the price wasn't too steep, I'd really, really like that.
  15. jm001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2011
    That's exactly what they mean. Not only paper, but brainstorming on a whiteboard, or Smartboard or even in the air. The naysayers so far haven't really read the article. The ability to change tips for various purposes, the ability to share your written material in real time with numerous iPads at the same meeting on any surface, etc. Lots of possibilities.
  16. Tycho24 Suspended


    Aug 29, 2014
    I agree with you that trade dress is VERY important & worth protecting probably even more than hardware or software features... as many purchases come down to the visual appeal of a product. Insightful post & I'm happy to concur.

    Unless of course, you did not mean it & were dragging out the most tired old trope for a lame flogging of a long deceased horse in an effort perhaps to successfully post the least humorous and least original comment of the day... If that's what you were after, then I'm happy to say: please let the deadest of dead unfunny memes lay.
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Does this mean we'll be seeing a stylus on iDevices in the future? Seems like a 180 degree change in direction from their prior position.
  18. bennibeef macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2013
    Does this mean, I write/draw on an actual paper (with ink maybe) and its 1:1 copied to a computer? If yes this is kinda awesome. Havent seen it this way implemented and somehow really cool.
  19. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    Could be interesting if apple had stylus support in the ipad pro but then that you could also use the stylus on paper like this.

    fingers just cant replace a stylus for drawing or many other creation tasks. The ipad is powerful enough to run serious apps, needs the option for a serious input device as well
  20. haydn! macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    I can see the value in a stylus for creative works, like drawing, designing on an iPad. But for everyday use, the 10 I carry around with me all the time, of which I can use several at once, due the job much better than a stylus could.

    I can't see one coming as standard any time soon, it would undermine the whole point and concept of multi-touch. But, maybe as a 'Pro' accessory to this rumoured iPad Pro? Potentially signalling a desire to push the product towards the creative community.
  21. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    One does not "win" a patent. It is not a competition.
    One does "earn" a patent through much hard work.

    Apple earned their patent. Apple did not win it.
  22. Vegasman macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2010
    Correct. Because it can't do things that would benefit from one.
  23. Alphabetize macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2013
    I would like stylus support for digital painting apps.
  24. Tycho24 Suspended


    Aug 29, 2014
    I can't see this hitting iPhone for many many iterations... but the 12-13" rumored tablet? I could see it! =)
  25. RobertMartens macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2002
    Tokyo, Japan
    That would be a 'no'

    If you won't read the article at least look at the pretty pictures.

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