Apple recently Filed a patent For the next-generation Apple Pencil with built-in optical sensors that can capture both colors and textures. This technology can turn the Apple Pencil into just a stylus for taking notes and creating art. With the ability to be inspired by the colors and textures of real-life objects, the tool can serve as a reference tool for artists to create their own banks of colors and textures to use in their projects. This feature is reminiscent of the popular “eyedropper” tool found in graphics software, allowing users to easily capture and take advantage of the colors around them.
According to the patent application, the Apple Pencil’s color sensor system will be able to detect the color of external objects and possibly measure other properties related to their texture and appearance. The new Apple Pencil may also have an adjustable light emitter and a custom light spectrum. This spectrum can be adjusted during color sensing measurements based on factors such as ambient light color.
The intensity of light emission can also be modulated during these measurements. In addition, an inertial measurement unit can be used to measure the angle between the stylus and the surface during the color sensing process. Surface texture can be measured using light that hits the surface at a viewing angle.
These measurements can then be transmitted wirelessly to a companion device, such as an iPad, for use in apps such as drawing software.
So far, the next-generation Apple Pencil feature described in the filed patent is purely theoretical and it’s unclear whether Apple plans to include it in a redesigned version of the Apple Pencil. However, it’s been more than four years since the second-generation Apple Pencil was announced, so it’s possible the company is considering updating the product.
In the past, Apple has also filed patents for other Pencil-related technologies, such as detachable custom nibs with a rotary element and multiple touch-sensitive areas on the body. It remains to be seen which of these features will be included in future versions of the Apple Pencil.
Source: USPTO through Obviously Apple