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Apple’s future iPhones likely to support stylus interaction

According to a list recently announced by the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO), Apple has obtained a technology patent for the Apple Pencil, which can not only be applied to the iPhone, but also can be used for augmented reality/virtual Reality/mixed reality applications.

According to the patent description, the new Apple Pencil is equipped with an optical sensor and can be used to interact on non-touch-enabled surfaces.

Optical sensors, including optical flow sensors, laser speckle flow sensors, etc., estimate the motion of the input device by detecting spatial-temporal image brightness changes (for example, brightness changes between frames).

Laser speckle flow sensors can detect speckle patterns produced by coherent illumination of imaging configurations to estimate motion of an input device.

Optical sensors can be used to detect characteristics of the input device, including position, orientation, and/or motion.

In some examples, a laser speckle flow sensor may include an emitter (such as a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL)) that emits light toward a surface, and a detector (such as an image sensor) that captures an image of the environment to detect light emitted from an input device that reflects or strikes a surface.

In some examples, information obtained from one or more additional sensors may include forces exerted by an input device, forces exerted by a pen tip, inertial measurements, magnetic measurements, and/or computer vision measurements.

Apple’s patent FIG. 1A below illustrates an example mobile phone (iPhone) that includes a touch screen #124 that can accept input from an input device (e.g., active stylus) input. Attached are pictures as follows:

Systems using input devices with optical sensors can in some cases be used to provide input for augmented reality, virtual reality, or mixed reality applications.

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James Lopez
James Lopezhttps://www.techgoing.com
James Lopez joined Techgoing as Senior News Editor in 2022. He's been a tech blogger since before the word was invented, and will never log off.

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