Apple reveals sensitive shaft, and we’re excited

Apple has filed a patent for a futuristic, touch-sensitive version of its Apple Pencil stylus.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published an Apple patent application for a “Stylus with touch sensor”, as first revealed by tech blog AppleInsider. The application reads:

“The stylus may have a touch sensor on the elongated body. The touch sensor on the body may have electrodes that gather touch input and optional force input when the fingers of a user touch the stylus.”

According to the patent, the Apple Pencil would have several touch sensors that receive electromagnetic signals from a user’s fingers. This would reveal how a stylus is being held, rotated, and how firmly it is pressed against a surface. Apple doesn’t detail exactly what this would mean in terms of controlling a device, other than to say that “the stylus may transition between operating modes” based on the signals from the new sensors.

apple pencil

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Despite early opposition to stylus pens, Apple eventually unveiled the Apple Pencil alongside the iPad Pro late last year. It currently only features pressure-sensitivity on the tip, as well as angle detection courtesy of a built-in accelerometer.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the Apple Pencil will ever be upgraded with the new technology described in today’s patent. Just filing a patent application doesn’t necessarily mean Apple plans to utilise the designs, so don’t get too excited just yet.

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What do you think of Apple’s sensitive shaft? Let us know in the comments.