Sunday, February 1, 2015

Apple's Stylus Receiver Concept Would Improve the Precision

Apple Stylus to Improve Larger iPad Model 

Recent reports reveal that Apple would be offering a simple stylus to improve a larger iPad model wherein the latest patent applications indicate a kind of improved pen based input technology which the company had been working on for some time.

In a recent filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, discovered by AppleInsider, disclosure of Apple’s investigation into stylus support for touchscreen devices was revealed. Entitled, `Superheterodyne Pen Stimulus Signal Receiver’, this proposed invention, indicates a device which could have unique frequency for stylus based input, which would be less than a traditional fingertip touch signal. Apple has noted in the filing, that several conventional styluses tend to have bulky tip which are made of material with a potential of interacting with touch sensitive devices where these devices are meant to match a user’s finger for compatibility with the modern touch screen.

 These are meant to be controlled with fingertips. However, Apple states that these conventional styluses, lack the precision as well as control of traditional writing instruments like a pen and paper, based on their nature. The method of Apple’s `superheterodyne receiver’ could be used which is capable of taking an input signal and converting it into another frequency.

Convert Stylus Touch Input Signals – Intermediate Frequency Signals

The technology in reality dates back to the origins of radio transmission which was developed during World War I by a U.S. soldier. All modern radio receivers, virtually utilise `superhet’ technology for the purpose of superior selectivity as well as sensitivity though in Apple’s more modern use, hardware demodulator in the device such as an iPad could convert stylus touch input signals in an intermediate frequency signal, which would be less than a traditional fingertip touch signal.

Apple would be featuring a touch sensor with potential of detecting the difference between a fingertip touch and a stylus touch thus offering more precise input. The latest patent application following a recent rumour, indicate that Apple would be launching a simple stylus together with an anticipated 12.9 inch `iPad Pro’, later this year. According to Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, he indicates that a stylus could be more precise than a person’s fingertip0s wherein it could be a more convenient method of input than a keyboard as well as a mouse in some cases.

Featuring Basic Technology 

He further states that Apple would probably launch the stylus accessory as an optional add-on instead of including it along with the larger iPad and believes that the stylus would feature basic technology in its first execution, wherein future models could contribute more advanced features such as 3D handwriting. Apple though had publicly panned pen based input for some time, the company’s interest in stylus based input, is nothing new and the filing is just the latest of stylus concepts which the company has been manipulating behind the scenes.

The superhet stylus signal receiver concept of Apple which was published recently was first filed in October 2013, with USPTO by Apple and the credits of the proposed invention goes to Shahrooz Shahparnia who is a touch ASIC as well as a sensor architect at Apple.

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