In 2007, Apple’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs, condemned the stylus outright, saying:
“Who wants a stylus? You have to get them and put them away, you lose them, yuck! Nobody wants a stylus.”
Well, The Telegraph reports that Apple has applied for patents on an advanced stylus that will sense movement and provide feedback to the user when it passes specific points on screen.
Like many other things that Apple has condemned in the past, here they are coming full circle with efforts to implement this. Of course, they are doing it different and better, which is something that you cannot take away from Apple.
It is a good strategy though: ridicule whatever you are not ready, secretly start work on doing it better, then once ready, declare that its never been done before. As a matter of fact, declare that it is magical! It works well, and perhaps other companies should emulate this stunning strategy. You can’t beat a winning formula.
- ability to sense the amount of pressure the user is applying
- ability to sense angle the user is holding the stylus at, and as a result could change what their touch screen devices show
- ability to provide the user with feedback, such as a vibration, e.g. to emulate the sensation of moving a pen across a smooth surface while a lower frequency signal may emulate the feel of moving a pen across a rougher surface
- ability to provide audio feedback e.g. to simulate the sound of moving a pen or a paintbrush across a piece of paper or a canvas, with the speaker emitting different sounds for emulating a pen or a paintbrush
- possibility of incorporating a camera in to a stylus as a means of establishing how the device is moving in relation to display of the touch screen device
The guys at Apple are mad, because this sounds like one heck of a stylus. If this patent ever sees the light of day, this is the stylus that I want to be caught with, dead or alive.
If you have been following my writing, you already know that I have believed in the return of the stylus for two years now. HTC gave it a shot. Samsung is doing same, and now Apple is interested in the stylus. One thing is clear: with Samsung and Apple pushing it, there is no doubt that the stylus will make a big comeback.
A very big “IF.”