A new Apple patent details a stylus that can be used without a screen. It specifically mentions “force sensors” which leads us to believe that this could be used with future versions of the Mac that have Force Touch trackpads.
Apple patents don’t typically translate to real products, however, it is interesting to look at what the Cupertino company is working on behind the curtain.
In some examples, touch-down and lift-off on a non-touch-sensitive surface can be monitored by a force sensor of the input device. The position and/or motion of the input device can be tracked according to various methods including one or more of a motion and orientation sensor, a camera, or an electromagnetic- or sound-based triangulation scheme.
What’s interesting is that the patent states that this could go beyond even Apple devices, and could be used with 3D objects in the real world, using the motion and accelerometer data within the stylus itself to track the information.
While this is all interesting, take this with a grain of salt as a majority of Apple’s patents don’t turn into products. However, an Apple Pencil 2 that can be used just as a pencil could be ground breaking if it ever makes it to market.