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Apple engineers file for patent on 'active' stylus

updated 12:09 pm EST, Mon December 31, 2012

Accessory would improve response without increasing costs

Engineers working for Apple have applied for a US patent on an "active" stylus, reports say. In most respects the concept is like any current stylus, but instead of simply blocking electric field lines on a capacitive touchscreen, the Apple stylus could generate an electric field, and/or act as a sense electrode for signals from drive rows and columns. The patent filing remarks that this could improve response on a touchscreen without "significant" extra cost.

Apple itself isn't named in the application, but both of the people involved, Jonah Harley and David Simon, are engineering managers for the company. Based on history, one possibility is that Apple will wait until the patent is granted to use its name. The company may have been hoping to throw off competitors looking to Apple patents for ideas.

At the same time, Apple has been strongly resistant to the idea of styluses; the original iPhone was consciously designed to eliminate the need for one, at a time when other smartphones often required them. Third-party styluses have become increasingly popular for iOS devices however, and Samsung is bundling its own styluses with devices like the Galaxy Note II. Most phones and tablets no longer require a stylus, but they can make drawing and notetaking more practical.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    So lets see, I thought I heard a few from this abode say "people" didn't want stylus or they always lost it and didn't care. Well guess what, crApple is feeling the heat against their "total domination" or "go thermo" mantra.... And now here you go....

    Round two is 2013; place your bets while the game is just beginning another heat cycle. They are now stepping into Samsung territory. The croc awaits patiently while the eyes take in the dance of a white mist ready to be blown away with fierce play of technology, distribution, marketing, and bank roll,. Yes I am talking about samsung. They have had a pretty proactive US campaign in the last 6 months. +1

    crApple is trying to protect the US consumer from "other" potential products. Samsung has gotten it right, and continues to get it right. crApple you better hug them customers while you can...

    One of the things that will help crApple is bringing jobs back to the US for good PR and support by local consumers. I can see why one board member calls for a human rights labor division to help with public view and make this side of crApple seem important while in the light of residual negative press.

    There are only so many many bullets a company can take before it to loses it's luster in public view.

  1. rudedog

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-07-09

    So basically they are filing a patent for a Wacom stylus for a phone... or as mentioned above, something Samsun already has....

    Hey then again we'd never want to watch video on our small hand held device.. or until Apple thinks we need these items.

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-28-02

    If you think the public care about who came to market with what first or who owns xyz patient you're pretty out of touch, because they don't. Besides just because Apple filed for the patient doesn't mean they're going to come out with a product that uses those patients.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    So lets see, I thought I heard a few from this abode say "people" didn't want stylus or they always lost it and didn't care. Well guess what, crApple is feeling the heat against their "total domination" or "go thermo" mantra.... And now here you go....
    Round two is 2013; place your bets while the game is just beginning another heat cycle. They are now stepping into Samsung territory. The croc awaits patiently while the eyes take in the dance of a white mist ready to be blown away with fierce play of technology, distribution, marketing, and bank roll,. Yes I am talking about samsung. They have had a pretty proactive US campaign in the last 6 months. +1
    crApple is trying to protect the US consumer from "other" potential products. Samsung has gotten it right, and continues to get it right. crApple you better hug them customers while you can...
    One of the things that will help crApple is bringing jobs back to the US for good PR and support by local consumers. I can see why one board member calls for a human rights labor division to help with public view and make this side of crApple seem important while in the light of residual negative press.
    There are only so many many bullets a company can take before it to loses it's luster in public view.



    You'd be a little more credible without the name calling.

  1. Inbloom

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-11-11

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    So lets see, I thought I heard a few from this abode say "people" didn't want stylus or they always lost it and didn't care. Well guess what, crApple is feeling the heat against their "total domination" or "go thermo" mantra.... And now here you go....
    Round two is 2013; place your bets while the game is just beginning another heat cycle. They are now stepping into Samsung territory. The croc awaits patiently while the eyes take in the dance of a white mist ready to be blown away with fierce play of technology, distribution, marketing, and bank roll,. Yes I am talking about samsung. They have had a pretty proactive US campaign in the last 6 months. +1
    crApple is trying to protect the US consumer from "other" potential products. Samsung has gotten it right, and continues to get it right. crApple you better hug them customers while you can...
    One of the things that will help crApple is bringing jobs back to the US for good PR and support by local consumers. I can see why one board member calls for a human rights labor division to help with public view and make this side of crApple seem important while in the light of residual negative press.
    There are only so many many bullets a company can take before it to loses it's luster in public view.



    A stylus is nothing new. They have been around for decades. However, Samsung decided to revive something that has been done before. I have to hand it to them they put their little spin on it. But, at the end of the day this is nothing new. Coming from someone who has used and purchased many gadgets over the years I know that the Galaxy Note pretty much does a lot of what my Compaq iPaq (we won't even talk about the Newton which came before) did in the early 2000's, granted with new modern tech. Nevertheless, same idea.

  1. Inbloom

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-11-11

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    So lets see, I thought I heard a few from this abode say "people" didn't want stylus or they always lost it and didn't care. Well guess what, crApple is feeling the heat against their "total domination" or "go thermo" mantra.... And now here you go....
    Round two is 2013; place your bets while the game is just beginning another heat cycle. They are now stepping into Samsung territory. The croc awaits patiently while the eyes take in the dance of a white mist ready to be blown away with fierce play of technology, distribution, marketing, and bank roll,. Yes I am talking about samsung. They have had a pretty proactive US campaign in the last 6 months. +1
    crApple is trying to protect the US consumer from "other" potential products. Samsung has gotten it right, and continues to get it right. crApple you better hug them customers while you can...
    One of the things that will help crApple is bringing jobs back to the US for good PR and support by local consumers. I can see why one board member calls for a human rights labor division to help with public view and make this side of crApple seem important while in the light of residual negative press.
    There are only so many many bullets a company can take before it to loses it's luster in public view.



    A stylus is nothing new. They have been around for decades. However, Samsung decided to revive something that has been done before. I have to hand it to them they put their little spin on it. But, at the end of the day this is nothing new. Coming from someone who has used and purchased many gadgets over the years I know that the Galaxy Note pretty much does a lot of what my Compaq iPaq (we won't even talk about the Newton which came before) did in the early 2000's, granted with new modern tech. Nevertheless, same idea.

  1. lpkmckenna

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 07-04-04

    The stylus is a dead UI device.

    Unless you're an artist, you don't need it.

  1. TheMacMan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-06-06

    "Apple itself isn't named in the application, but both of the people involved, Jonah Harley and David Simon, are engineering managers for the company. Based on history, one possibility is that Apple will wait until the patent is granted to use its name. The company may have been hoping to throw off competitors looking to Apple patents for ideas."

    Well Macnn, so much for that idea. Way to giving Apple's idea away ;)

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Wow, trolltrolltroller's REALLY off his game ... he completely missed his usual paranoic-fantasy propaganda that Apple has only patented this stylus to SUPPRESS glorious Samsung stylus tech (like that AWSUM s-pen everyone's already lost one of!) by SUING anyone who tries to invent a better stylus!

    Tsk tsk. I'll never figure out why our trolls are so pathetic ...

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post

    Wow, trolltrolltroller's REALLY off his game ... he completely missed his usual paranoic-fantasy propaganda that Apple has only patented this stylus to SUPPRESS glorious Samsung stylus tech (like that AWSUM s-pen everyone's already lost one of!) by SUING anyone who tries to invent a better stylus!
    Tsk tsk. I'll never figure out why our trolls are so pathetic ...

    No need to get emotional; keep composure.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Apart from that, blahblabber's not a fAndroid troll.

    That's wrenchy's jo[s]ke[/s]b.

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