New Apple Patent Talks about Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens

Apple files patent for stylus based touch screen input

When the iPhone was first launched, stylus based touch screens were the norm. The iPhone thus revolutionized the mobile phone space with finger operated touch-screens. However, going by a recent patent filed by the company at the US Patent and Trademark Office, it appears that Apple could well be looking to bring stylus based touch-screens back . 

In the patent titled "Stylus Adapted For Low Resolution Touch Sensor Panels" filed in the name of John Elias, one of the co-founders of FingerWorks which Apple acquired in 2005, the company has described a technology that will enable the use of stylus on modern day capacitive touch screen interfaces whose low resolution is optimized for finger input. 

According to the inventors, modern day capacitive touch sensors are not optimized to receive inputs from styluses. This is because, unlike a finger input, the small tip of the stylus can often get in contact with a region that is in between adjacent touch sensors hindering normal usage. In order to solve this, the stylus shall come with a conductive disk that will enable sufficient electrical interaction with at least one of the adjacent touch sensors.

Apple files patent for stylus based touch screen input

It is not clear if Apple intends to bring the technology to the iPhone. This appears unlikely not just because a stylus would seem redundant to the vast majority of iPhone users, but also because the visualizations in the patent are not indicative of an iPhone-like touchscreen interface. Apple's visualization of the iPhone is well recorded in the earlier patents. The stylus could then possibly be aimed at the Tablet, though that is just a speculation at this point. 

What is your take on this? Do you see a need for stylus for the iPhone or the rumored Apple Tablet? Please tell us in the comments.

[via MacRumors]

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  • Franky j

    My take is I can't wait till the 26th like this all stops. But does it really ever stops. NEVER!

  • Scott

    I would love the option to use a stylus, but not be required to use it. I have kinda big fingers and find that sometimes I have trouble with precise movements and I feel that a stylus would really come in handy. Just dont MAKE me use it, offer it as an option.

  • Jomir

    I hope that Steve Jobs don't introduce an stylus into iphone because criticizes all the phones that use stylus pen when he was presenting the first iphone in the apple events 2007.

  • Z

    yea even if it were a good idea, they most likely wouldn't, because they already bashed styluses in '07. but then again, they bashed those stupid intel processors in what was it? 1996? and in 2006 they introduced them in all of their macintoshes and mac has never been better.

  • Jo3

    It would be nice for artists who want precision when drawing because we all
    know those USB based boards suck to draw with.

  • The idea of introducing stylus to an iphone and maybe other electronics maybe a good idea considering the precision of it is a good idea as long as stylus is an addition to an amazing finger control touch screen. Losing finger touch and replacing it with stylus would be a bad move. Have both in one device for preference. Thanx

  • CheeseEater

    A stylus on the tablet would be a must for taking notes- electronic paper style, you just can't write with your finger as fast or accurately as with a pen/stylus. The iphone, not so useful a feature.