Last week Apple filed for a patent for a future iteration of the Apple Pencil that could sample and reproduce colors. Today the tech giant was granted a patent (number 10,725,544) that would see haptics (touch sensations) added to the device.
In the patent data, Apple says that despite advancements made in display technology that renders graphical images generated by touch screen displays more accurate and more responsive to user input, an element of interaction with the user remains missing. The tech giant says there’s a need to enhance the user’s experience by generating a haptic feedback response during the user’s interaction with such touch screen displays.
For example, the haptic feedback on an Apple Pencil would differ when in a painting app on an iPad and moving the brush across a canvas and a wood surface (all virtually, of course). Or the device could simulate the feeling of a pencil rubbing against a piece of paper.
The patent also mentions audio feedback in which an Apple Pencil would product a sound under some circumstances. For instance, when erasing in a paint/drawing program, the Pencil could emulate the sound of a pencil eraser in action.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “According to some embodiments, an accessory device for interacting with an electronic device having a touch sensitive surface, is described. The accessory device can include a housing having walls suitable for carrying a processor capable of providing instructions and an interface unit extending through an opening at a distal end of the housing, where the interface unit is capable of interacting with the touch sensitive surface.
“The accessory device can further include a sensor in communication with the processor and the interface unit, where the sensor is capable of (i) detecting a stimulus generated by the interaction between the interface unit and the touch sensitive surface, and (ii) responding by providing a feedback parameter to the processor that responds by providing a feedback instruction. The accessory device can further include a feedback component that responds to the feedback instruction by transmitting a feedback force to the walls of the housing.”