As rumors about a forthcoming iPad Pro continue to develop, Apple has patented some interesting technology that analysts have already earmarked for this hotly anticipated tablet.

Apple Patent Hints At Unique iPad Pro Feature

iPad Pro deemed a certainty

When Apple finally confirms the existence of the iPad Pro, it will certainly go down as one of the less well-kept secrets in the history of the corporation. Analysts have been discussing the existence and the specifications of an iPad Pro for some years, and it is expected that Apple will unveil it at some point in the next 12 months, in order to spruce up its tablet range.

While the iPad is unquestionably the most successful tablet in the world, and retains a significant popularity with customers, the gloss has faded somewhat from this hugely successful product in the last couple of years. While consumers flocked to tablet computers when the new concept first came to market, then numbers of tablet sales have reduced significantly recently. Many analysts believe that tablets may have peaked already, but Apple hopes to prove this impression incorrect with the release of a particularly high-spec tablet, that has been perennially dubbed the iPad Pro.

So when Apple patents new inventions, which it does with astonishing regularity, there is always the possible suggestion that these new technologies could be introduced when the iPad Pro is unveiled and eventually released. And a recent patent that Apple has made certainly seem to fit in with the ethos of an iPad Pro.

iPad Pro could include stylus

It is interesting to note that this recent patent applications involves a stylus, as it is well known that this would not necessarily have found a favour with the late CEO and founder of Apple. Steve Jobs was reportedly opposed to include such a device with the iPad, but Apple may have been keeping a close eye on Samsung and its Galaxy Note range, and sensing how popular its S Pen stylus has become.

However, the stylus that Apple has patented is no ordinary add-on. Apple is seemingly working internally on a stylus that features an in-built camera. This would apparently allow the device to detect the surface over which it is passed and reproduce these textures for the user, eventually making it possible for the iPad Pro, or any other device that includes the technology, to replicate the physical feel of different fabrics, for example.

The so-called haptic feedback works via the modulation of friction forces between the fingers of a user of the device and the source of the feedback. Some modification in voltage levels is also utilized in order to achieve this seemingly incredible physical effect. Actually delivering this in a form of mass-market technology hasn’t been literally half a century in the making, as researchers have been investigating this technology for the last 50 years.

Apple eyes corporate tie-ins

With corporations such as Disney currently investigating the possibilities of utilizing haptic technology within tablet displays in theme parks, it is thought that this will become a significant technological breakthrough in the coming years. Apple is clearly keen on getting in on the ground floor, possibly forming some sort of collaboration with companies developing the technology in physical locations in the foreseeable future.

It is hoped that eventually this technology could provide advantages for the visually impaired, enabling them to utilize a stylus to feel an image on-screen, in a similar process to that of Braille. Apple has always prided itself on being an accessible corporation that exemplifies the inclusive zeitgeist of the contemporary world, and thus this haptic technology would seem to be one that fits in with the overarching ethos of the corporation.

Although Apple is clearly beavering away on this technology at present, it should be emphasized that we don’t yet know when it will see the light of day. Apple has reportedly been investigating haptic tech since 2011, so there is no guarantee that this will roll out in any device in the foreseeable future, even though it would be ideal for the iPad Pro.

But it is clearly the sort of headline-grabbing innovation that Apple would love to include in the iPad range as quickly as possible, and this could encourage the corporation to consider strongly the logistics of including it in this forthcoming tablet. With the iPad Pro also being linked with a high resolution 13-inch display and some outstanding specifications, when we do see this tablet emerge it could be a truly memorable device.