Apple files tablet computer patent application featuring handwriting recognition, pen-based input

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!“On November 12, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced pen-based Tablet,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Interestingly Apple won their first ink engine patent this past July. In that particular report you’ll be able to find other links to a tablet related patent that illustrates a classic notebook/tablet combination design. Today’s patent closely relates to their recently granted patent but provides us with a little more insight into the tablet’s future usage with apps such as pen-based notations, musical scores or even business forms,” Purcher reports.

Purcher reports, “The oddity to this patent perhaps, lies in the speed in which it became public. The patent was only filed in July of this year and published in less than three months: Is Apple in a hurry? In late September Apple rehired one of their original Newton developers Michael Tchao… In context, today’s patent data has to be added to the facts that Apple is indeed working on a new type of tablet computer that may in fact include an ink based engine that could use a stylus-like pointer.”

There’s much more, including patent application illustrations, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Who
    I do. I already do for Vectorworks, and I would like a portable device for visiting worksites. Not everybody will want the same thing. And it might just also be touch screen as well, knowing Steve.

  2. If you take an iPhone’s icons to the image shown in the patent. Just double it and you get about an 8 inch or greater tablet. If you narrow the edges you get a larger than eight inch screen. Just a ruler and paper thing.

    My two cents worth; plus a shakey pen.

  3. If an Apple tablet were to come to fruition, it would definitely be smart to have a touch/pen hybrid with your fingers as the primary source of input.

    There are stylus’ for capacitive touchscreens like the iPhone so that shouldn’t be a problem. I believe it transfers heat from the body of the pen (in your hand) to the point as it touches the screen.

    I hate the stylus when it comes to something with a tiny screen like a smartphone but there are so many more things to do with a tablet. I would want stylus input as an option.

  4. I don’t want to have to use a stylus. But I don’t want to try writing with my finger, either.

    Stylus for text input and finger/stylus for anything else.

    Gee, Apple’s almost caught up with Windows 7 for Tablets…

  5. Much like Apple finally caught up with touch-based phones (remember, Treo was there for years), or like iPod finally caught up with other MP3 players (which existed for years).

    When Apple enters existing concept, it does it right.

  6. …”I believe it transfers heat from the body of the pen (in your hand) to the point as it touches the screen. “

    No, it does not. That would be heat-sensitive surface, and iPhone is not; it is, as you said, capacitive surface. Therefore a stylus for the iPhone-type screen would have to conduct electricity between the display and the hand.

    Gramar Nazi rant: by the way; stylus is singular; therefore plural is styluses, not stylus’, which could only possibly be possessive form for plural of a non-existent noun stylu.

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