Apple Files Patent for Active Stylus for iOS
This is another one of those cases where Apple has backtracked on their comments. Steve Jobs once said “nobody wants a stylus” and “if you see a stylus, they blew it.” Despite completely renouncing styluses in the past Apple is working on a new stylus design and has recently filed a patent for an ‘advanced stylus’ that works with capacitive touch screens with iOS devices.
Apple’s new stylus is an ‘active’ stylus as compared to the ‘passive’ styluses available in the market. Patently Apple reports:
“Apple’s invention generally relates to a stylus that can act as a drive and/or a sense element in a capacitive touch system. Unlike conventional styluses which work passively by blocking electric field lines between the drive and sense electrodes of a capacitive touch sensor panel, the styluses disclosed in this patent filing can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both.
Accordingly, the styluses disclosed in this patent filing can be referred to as active styluses in comparison to conventional passive styluses. These active styluses can significantly improve stylus sensing on a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel without incurring significant additional cost.According to this patent, that translates to the “active stylus” being able to be used on Apple’s iPhone and iPad which are directly listed as examples.”
Apple’s Engineering Manager Jonah Harley and Hardware Engineering Manager David Simon were the ones who came up with the design and this patent was filed in Q2 2011.
We still don’t have any word when this stylus will hit the market. In any case Apple releases are always looked forward to and this is going to be no different.