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Apple files patent for stylus, partner for iPad Pro?

Apple has filed a patent for a stylus device, and it’s not the first time the company has made a claim on the design for such a piece of hardware.

The patent, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by Apple Insider, is for a “communicating stylus” which allows the user to write on a surface – whether that’s a piece of paper or whiteboard – and then transmit that writing over to a digital device such as an iPad.

The stylus will use sensors and accelerometers, and will wirelessly transmit data over to the tablet or other device. It’s not the first such smart pen to be invented, of course, and doubtless it won’t be the last either.

In the patent application, Apple notes that the stylus could be used in a classroom setting, with a user taking handwritten notes, and a digital version of those notes being automatically replicated to the smartphone in their pocket.

There may be storage on board the stylus, and scribblings could be kept in that memory before being transmitted to the partner digital device in bursts, after a certain amount of time passes or a certain amount of data is collected, or it could be transmitted continuously.

In the patent, Apple states: “It should be noted that the use of multiple accelerometers may permit the stylus to track three-dimensional motion as opposed to tracking only two-dimensional motion.”

In other words, you may also be able to draw in thin air with the device. This could eventually be a planned partner for the larger iPad Apple is rumoured to be bringing out next year (the iPad Pro) targeted at the business world.