After Steve Jobs famously claiming of mobile devices that “if you see a stylus, they blew it”, Apple may be eating a little humble pie right now. With the tremendous success of the Wacom ‘S pen’-enabled Samsung Galaxy Note, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the horizon, Apple has filed a patent for an ‘optical stylus’.
This miraculous digital pen should support pressure and orientation sensitivity, setting it aside from and far above the majority of capacitive styli available on the market – which are only slightly more elegant than using a finger – and perhaps on a level with the best digitizer efforts such as Wacom’s with the Note 10.1. This would make the Apple stylus suitable for designers and artists who want to work on the go, which is becoming an ever more attractive proposition now that tablets are transitioning to high-quality and high-resolution IPS or equivalent screens and with apps like Adobe Photoshop Touch on the market.
Assuming Apple will bring the optical stylus this patent outlines to market, the only remaining question is if it will be exclusive to the company’s next-generation devices like the iPhone 5 or iPad Mini. If, on the other hand, it turns out that this stylus will work with regular capacitive devices like the new iPad, it may well be a revolutionary product – though we wouldn’t be surprised if the fruity company ensures it will only work with iDevices, leaving the likes of the Transformer Pad 300 out in the cold. Still, Apple’s optical design is not the only non-digitizer stylus to offer pressure sensitivity at least, so we won’t cry too long.