Samsung might’ve beaten Apple to the gigantic screen punch with its spanking new Galaxy Note/Tab Pro 12.2 tablets, but the Californians are tipped to launch the 12.9in iPad Pro any month now.
Rather than simply being a massive iPad, we’re hearing that it might well ship with a super-fancy stylus, or “iPen”.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing was picked up by Patently Apple, which notes that more than 20 such iPatents have now been filed.
Previous patents have encompassed LiveScribe-style recording, gesture controls, and variable pressure and texture input.
This new patent details orientation awareness, which would necessitate a sensor in both the iPen and the iPad Pro (or whichever device it debuts in). Of course, that immediately rules out compatibility with the existing iPads.
Possible implementations include using the stylus as a pencil, with one end containing virtual lead and the other housing a virtual eraser. Similarly, using the iPen’s side could yield broad shadows from a faux charcoal stick.
Furthermore, we could see the iPen going into a power-saving mode if the iDevice detects that it’s been lying down unused for a period of time.
This particular patent was filed in 2011, so Apple has clearly been contemplating a feature-filled iPen for some time, though quite often these things come to nothing.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see if the iPen comes to fruition when the iPad Pro drops soonish.