While Apple is normally against styluses in any form, they’ve just attempted to patent a new form of stylus technology. This information comes from a patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office last week. According to Patently Apple, Apple’s patent application shows that Apple is working on a new “Active Stylus”.
Conventional capacitive touchscreen styluses tend to just be large capacitive rods, meaning that they are just an extension of your finger, using the same electrodes from your hand. However, Apple’s new Active Styluses “can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both.”
If Apple was to use the Active Styluses with its iOS devices, the company would be able to improve stylus technology in capacitive sensing while still keeping the cost of capacitive touchscreens low. If you’d like to take a more visual look at Apple’s new stylus patent, we’ve embedded a patent drawing above.,