Apple is recently on the news front again and this time it is apparently working on a mysterious ‘input device’, whose design has created much-excited buzz.

This patent was first spotted by Netherlands based tech site, TechTastic, which have also described a stylus that is able to write on any surface and then send that data to any device. Reports also suggest that the patent was filed last July and made public this January.

Authorities close to this innovation also stated that this device would communicate with an external sensor, which in turn would be able to track stroke duration, force against a “non-touch-sensitive surface”, three-dimensional motion and orientation, and “plurality” of strokes. All of the above-mentioned data would be then communicated via some sort of “radio-frequency or acoustic signals” to the sensor.

Apple Pencil 1
Image Credit: Tech Radar

The good news also remains that for this stylus, users won’t need any touchscreen or expensive tablet for digital sketching, writing or designing. Instead, jotting down notes on PowerPoint slides during a presentation or sketching a design to the desktop with the accessory would prove to be an exciting option for a lot of users.

What’s especially interesting is the potential scale of this device. Here, the above image above shows a pair of sensors attached to the device, measuring writing inputs fairly close to the screen. But the figure below portrays a more VR-centric design, with sensors all around the room.

Looking for possibilities:

Apple’s stylus would not only port 2D screens but would also theoretically work as an accessory for the much-rumored Apple augmented reality glasses. Users then would be able to draw 3D designs while being able to see their surroundings for inspiration.

Based on the fact that the device sends signals to the sensors, it might be expected that the stylus could have some kind of built-in accelerometer, similar to what’s found in motion controllers like the Oculus Touch. Or, the stylus could primarily signal its force against surfaces, while the external sensors kept a track of its 3D positioning.

Apple Pencil 2
Image Credit: Tech Radar

This Apple Pencil would currently work with the iPad Pro, although patents last year have also led to speculations that the Pencil 2 would work for the iPhone as well, and release in 2019. But, another figure from the more recent patent shows the stylus connecting with an iPad, iPhone, Watch and even an iPod.

It is still not known whether this Apple’s new stylus design would ever see the light of day, but its potential applications for 3D and AR design, and its utility in virtually any environment is definitely eye-catching and is imposing much excitement.