Apple patents next-gen pencil with optical sensor that can pick up colors and textures from real life

As we know, Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO and one of the greatest visionaries of all time, was fundamentally opposed to touch pens. When he unveiled the first iPhone with a finger-friendly display, he ironically asked who else needed a pen. According to Jobs, nobody wanted a pen, but in 2015 Apple did introduce one. And it didn’t stop there.

Apple Pencil is more than just a pencil

Following the first generation, which was introduced in 2015 and designed for use with the iPad Pro tablet, Apple has introduced the second generation. This arrived three years later, in 2018, and the fact is that the Pencil stylus is miles away from the ordinary stylus that Jobs railed against in the past.

The second generation has been with us for more than four years and has outlived its useful life, so it is no wonder that the third generation is slowly starting to be prepared. Work on the new Pencil touch pen from Apple’s workshops was revealed by Patently Apple, via patent proposal number 20220413636 A1.

Touch pen at the highest level

The above patent proposal relates to an optical sensor that would allow the pencil to copy texture and colour from the surface of objects. The pencil would then be able to send this data wirelessly to a laptop/tablet for use with a desired drawing program.

Based on these patents, the Yanko Design website has created a design for the third generation Apple Pencil and the fact is that the apple giant has applied for several interesting patents in the past. For example, in 2021, it was granted a patent for interchangeable tips, with the tips being of several types and the stylus gaining new features based on them.

When will we see it?

Unfortunately, there’s no word on a possible launch date, and it’s possible that the third-generation Apple Pencil will arrive with the upcoming iPad Pro. That’s expected to be introduced in 2024 and will be the first iPad ever to feature an OLED display, so the arrival of a new generation touch pen with much more extensive features makes a lot of sense. We’ll see how things turn out in the end.

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