Thursday, January 1, 2015

Apple’s Patent – `Communicating Stylus’

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recently has granted Apple, a patent for `communicating stylus’, which would capture digital copies of handwritten notes as well as drawings from a variety of surfaces from paper to a whiteboard. Apple’s smart pen patent had first being filed for in January 2010 with credits to Aleksandar Pance as its inventor.

According to the patent, it would outline a smart writing feature which utilises accelerometers, wireless communication hardware and on-board storage for transferring handwritten notes and drawing from the stylus on to the digital device display.Several companies have developed these kinds of products the most relevant one being Livescribe’s smartpen and few boast on the complete complement of advanced technology by Apple’s design.

For instance, Livescribe 3 utilises an infrared camera which is located in its tip in order to capture handwriting and is then stored on-board or offloaded through Bluetooth wherein the process needs specialized paper, with a large chassis together with generous amount of power. The stylus could be configured to send movement data after the data has been collected at predefined intervals or continuously based on the users’ requirements, while another option is by sending out stylus data to various devices, as meeting notes.

Efficient Accelerometers/Motion Sensing Hardware

Apple’s stylus is featured on efficient accelerometers or other motion sensing hardware where the pen get activated only when it is picked up and its nib is pressed to the paper, withdrawn from a dock or manually turned on by the user. Thereafter the on-board sensors tend to track position changes with regards to an initial zero point enabling the device to transmit real-time data for translation as well as graphical representation on the screen of an iOS device.

It may be noted that Apple’s invention has the capabilities of being fitted with several accelerometers to measure movement in three dimension which produces accurate digital copy of stylus motion at any given angle irrespective of it being on a desk, wall or in the air. In other instances, it may not call for instant playback like taking notes, wherein in this case, the stylus could save movement data on-board or conduct burst transmission in order to save on energy. Apple had indicated that user could transmit data to a computing device which could remain in a bag or a pocket and could be a solution in saving digital backup of physical notes.

Embodiments with Alternative

Embodiments with alternative, comprises of several transmitter as well as receiver configurations for area triangulation, embedded magnetometers for collecting orientation data and several nib layouts to write with ink, graphite as well as other materials. Another thing to note is a capacitive version which could be used as a tradition iPad stylus.

As in the case of other Apple Patents with regards to styli, the idea of actually making one to the production level is slim taking into consideration the great efforts taken in multi-touch interface and to build a `communicating stylus, is made available if Apple intends to build such a device. Most of the hardware that is mentioned in the patent has been used in the prevailing generation iPhones as well as the iPads.

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