Steve Jobs once said, “It’s like we said on the iPad, if you see a stylus, they blew it. In multitasking, if you see a task manager… they blew it. Users shouldn’t ever have to think about it.”
However optimistic Job’s design intent, many users, and especially iPad users, are especially attached to their stylus. Now, Apple is finally paying attention.
The company’s latest patent filing reveals a complex stylus that comes with a wide variety of functions: an accelerometer, light beams, an extendable nib with varying thickness, multi-stranded tip, and so on.
While the patent does not indicate an actual product in the foreseeable future, once does wonder if the design team at Apple will be able to ignore Job’s design prognosis.
In one instance, the user may vary the length of the nib exposed outside of a body of the stylus, which may vary an output of the stylus as it interacts with the touch screen. As one example, the user may activate a button, switch, or other component, in order to vary the length of the nib which may be exposed through an end of the stylus. As the length of the nib exposed varies, the point of contact or interaction dimensions of the nib on the touch screen, as well as the length of the nib encased within the body may be varied, which may vary one or more inputs from the input device to the touch screen. Moreover, in some embodiments, the nib may be at least partially flexible, such that as the exposed length varies, the signal detected by a touch-sensitive surface may vary, thereby varying an output of an associated electronic device (as may be shown on a display) and/or user interaction. For instance, a relatively short exposed length may be less flexible, resulting in a harder feel, such as a pen, tip, when the user presses on the touch screen, whereas a longer exposed length may be more flexible, resulting in a softer feel, such as a paint brush, and optionally wider tip when the user presses on the touch screen.