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

Buy Now: 12.9-inch iPad Pro (128GB) at Amazon for £682

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.

Related: iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4

Watch: 12.9-inch iPad Pro vs 9.7-inch iPad Pro

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

Why we’re different

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Trusted Reviews may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tell us what you think.