Apple granted a patent for an ‘intelligent stylus’ with haptic feedback, hover ability

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,921,684) for an “intelligent stylus” that hints at features in a second generation Apple Pencil. (I know that Apple says the Pencil isn’t a stylus, but that’s how the tech giant has described it in more than one patent.)

Stylus patent .jpeg

Per the patent an intelligent stylus would provide a “stylus condition” in addition to a touch input. The stylus sensing circuitry can include multiple sensors to sense information indicative of the stylus condition (haptic feedback, perhaps?), a microcontroller to determine the stylus condition based on the sensed information, and a transmitter to transmit the determined condition to a corresponding touch sensitive device to cause some action based on the condition. Apple says that the stylus's ability to determine its condition and provide that condition to the touch sensitive device advantageously improves touch and hover sensing and increases device capabilities.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.