The patent was originally filed in 2014, when Apple referred to the Apple Pencil as ‘the stylus.’ Much of the text focuses on use of the stylus with a ‘touch screen display’ (aka an iPad), but several of the drawings show what appear to be a trackpad and iMac …
Apple’s ambitions for the Pencil don’t end there, however. The patent describes how a stylus could use a three- or six-axis inertial sensor to act as a more general input device, including a joystick and air mouse.
Inertial sensor input may be gathered when operating the stylus in one or more inertial sensor input modes such as an air mouse mode, a rotational controller mode, a joystick mode, and/or other inertial sensor input modes.
The version of the Apple Pencil described in the patent is significantly more sophisticated than the current model, having the ability to detect lateral movement in three dimensions, rotational movement and orientation.
As always, there’s no telling whether or not any of this will ever make it to market, but giving artists and designers the ability to use a single device to draw on both the iPad Pro and make would seem to make a great deal of sense.
Via Patently Apple