Is Apple warming up to iPhone stylus idea?

Ever since iPhone launched, Steve Jobs has been denying the possibility of stylus on Apple’s touch screen devices.

Stylus? Why would you need one, when you got this amazing, finger operated multi-touch interface on a device with a super responsive capacitive touch screen?

It is true in most cases. Except one – when you need/want to actually write or draw something on the touchscreen display. Finger really sucks as a writing tool on touchscreen. And, if a couple of patent applications is any indication, Apple may soon be ready to admit as much.

The first patent app for “Stylus for touchscreen devices” describes just that – a stylus for devices with capacitive touchscreen.

The stylus has a rechargeable battery and “includes a conductive tip that creates capacitive coupling between the stylus and the touch-screen of the computing device”. The tip can also be heated for “more consistent interaction between the capacitive-sensors in the computing device and the stylus” . And, as you can see from the picture above, Apple even thought of the dock inside your iPhone to store and recharge your stylus.

The second patent application is called “Communicating stylus” and describes a bit smarter device, equipped with motion sensors, data storage and wireless transmission chips. With such stylus, you can write on any surface you want – e.g a piece of paper or a whiteboard, while the data is transmitted to your iPhone or iPad nearby.

What’s most interesting about both of these patent applications is that they are brand new. Usually, when we see such “old fashioned” technology in Apple’s patent filings – it’s a continuation applications for some patents Apple has filed years ago.

Not in this case – both stylus patent applications have been filed on January 6, 2010 and only reference each other as related.

Could Apple be really warming up the idea of stylus on at least some of it’s iPhones?


Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Anonymous

    Very interesting – this continues a trend in Apple research since 2006.  Previous research was in light and laser styluses for capacitive touchscreens. 

  • plr videos

    Heard of
    the iPad 2 Plus, anyone?  Anyways, a redesign of the iPad is a good news
    but I just hope the price won;t be changed or anything. Cheaer might be
    better frankly. This stylus thing could be a great addition though. 

  • Ronald Luage

    the second patent application is not new it is already made for computer .