Apple has successfully patented a new stylus/smart pen that will allow users to write on any surface and then transmit what was written onto a digital display. The semi-modular device will also feature interchangeable nibs that will allow users to write in ink or other writing materials. This tool would be especially useful in a classroom setting, where Apple products make up a significant portion of the devices used.
Apple was granted yet another stylus design patent on Tuesday, this time coming in the form of a smart pen capable of detecting hand movements for translation into digital line drawings and text. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple U.S. Patent No. 8,922,530 for a “Communicating stylus,” which outlines a smart writing utensil that uses accelerometers, wireless communication hardware and onboard storage to transfer hand-written notes and drawings onto the display of a digital device. A number of companies have created similar products, the most relevant being Livescribe’s “smartpen,” though few boast the complete complement of advanced technology set forth by Apple’s design. The Livescribe 3, for example, uses an infrared camera located in its tip to capture handwriting, which is then stored onboard or offloaded via Bluetooth. The process requires specialized paper, a relatively large chassis and a copious amount of power.