Apple files another patent application for sensor-laden active stylus

“On April 16, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their ongoing work on an ‘Active Stylus,'” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “The patent is focused on protecting new aspects of the original patent that Apple was granted a patent for back in January.”

“The styluses that are disclosed in Apple’s latest 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,” Purcher reports. “Although the body of the ‘detailed description’ part of the patent doesn’t differ materially from their granted patent, Apple has added new patent claims that they want protection for. For instance, Apple states in claim 8 that ‘The active stylus of claim 1, further comprising one or more sensors including one or more of a pressure sensor, a motion sensor, an orientation sensor, an accelerometer, a touch sensor and a rotation sensor.'”

“For an invention that most think will never happen, it is incredible how Apple keeps working on it,” Purcher reports. “You check out our archives to see just how many patents Apple keeps filing for a next generation stylus or smart pen.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps for the “iPad Pro” (or all iPads/iPhones) in some capacity (i.e. not required, but useful for specialized applications; think Apple+IBM and MobileFirst for iOS)?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Lynn Weiler” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. “not required, but useful for specialized applications”

    Exactly my thoughts. I would never want to have to use a stylus. BUT, I would seriously consider creating artwork on an ipad if the stylus used was as good as a paintbrush/pen/etc

  2. I think business and creative purposes it has potential. The negativity with styluses myself included is all about how awkward, clunky and un responsive they are doing things badly that fingers are so much better at. But then that is a world that Microsoft and others have presented us with. Potentially a stylus device for a range of uses especially in business could be exceptionally useful if it feels like an extension of your fingers and brings multiple functionality literally to your finger tips without access to a menu of some kind. However that is no easy process so it will be very interesting to see how good this will be if it does get to market. Business is however the obvious place where precise input and writing could be a vital ingredient for many functions.

  3. Why do journalists have such limited imagination ……… i am just baffled by it. If you just have the value of x and y axises you can do almost limitless functions. and products like apple watch, iPads, iPhones etc have so many variables sensors……the applications are limitless……….just take a look at the no. of applications in Apps Store+ Google Play + Windows Mobile + BBM etc…..and they are still growing…….

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