Thursday, January 27, 2022
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Apple patent hints at Apple Pencil and touch support for Macs

The graphic illustrates ways in which feedback for handwritten input is presented in a user interface.

Apple has repeatedly said there was little need for touch interfaces on a Mac. The company may have no plans for such products, but that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t experiment with them in their labs. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,221,752)  for “character recognition on a  computer device” 

About the patent

In the patent, Apple notes that user interaction with devices such as computers and other electronic computing devices has increased significantly in recent years. These devices can be devices such as computers, tablet computers, televisions, multimedia devices, and the like. 

The tech giant adds that interaction with these devices can be performed using various input devices, such as touch screen displays, touch-sensitive surfaces, remote controls, mice and other input devices. Touch-sensitive surfaces and touch screen displays, in particular, have become increasingly popular input devices, as has providing handwritten input using such input devices. 

Apple says that providing for “robust character recognition of handwritten input” enhances the user’s experience with the device by reducing errors in character input and decreases user interaction time, which is particularly important where input devices are battery-operated. 

Apple adds that when a user is providing handwritten input to a device, it can be beneficial for the device to provide some feedback to the user about the user’s input and the device’s interpretation of that input. This can give the user opportunity to adjust its input if needed to make it more likely that the desired input will be recognized by the device. 

Apple says that enhancing interactions with a device reduces the amount of time needed by a person to perform operations. This reduces the power usage of the device and increases battery life for battery-powered devices. The device for interactions seems to be an Apple Pencil with haptic feedback as evidenced in a newly granted patent for “pencil feedback.”

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “The embodiments described in this disclosure are directed to one or more devices that optionally perform character recognition, provide feedback relating to handwritten input, and present a user interface for changing previously-inputted characters, and one or more actions that the devices optionally perform that are related to the above.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.