Apple is exploring the possibility of building various types of styluses which are compatible to the iPad, and iPhone, as well as an optical stylus, and pointer that is handheld and also has haptic feedback.
It would seem that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making a turnaround after it put in an application for a stylus patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This is a total turn around from Apple, since Steve Jobs publicly shunned the stylus when he unveiled the first ever iPhone.
However, the stylus that Apple has filed a patent for is different from what is commonly used today. Their stylus is an optical device that can be able to tell- via pressure- when it is in contact with a surface, and also has the ability to capture images with a built in camera.
In one patent filing, the stylus called Haptic Input Device, has a pen that can be able to get input from a device that is touch based like the iPhone, and the second one named Optical Stylus has a camera that uses pressure sensors for greater control.
While using the haptic stylus, Apple is of the opinion that conventional styluses let users feel the rigid surface only and one cannot be able to sense individual icons or textures. But a stylus that has haptic feedback could be a great alternative since texture on the surface of the touch screen could be felt.
The user experience would be great since the user interface would be realistic as well as more appealing. The filing also notes that feedback could be gained by motion, vibration or any force that a user could sense.
The second patent filing on the stylus shows that conventional styluses do not register input, and Apple’s stylus would have a camera that acts as a sensor and it would be able to tell its location and also movement relative to the touch screen of the device.
However, the filing according to observers does not mean that the next iPad will come with them; in fact most observers are of the opinion that the stylus patents may not be used soon; may be later on.
But the stylus in Apple products has most people wondering how it will be used since Apple products are well known for their usability, and most features usually have functions attached to them.
Therefore, it remains to be seen where the stylus will feature in future Apple products, and what Steve Jobs must be thinking, since he once said that if you see a stylus on a device, then the makers blew it!