Future Apple Pencils could measure the coordinates of a 3D object and create 3D illustrations, as hinted at by a newly granted patent (number 10,739,870) for a “stylus for coordinate measuring.”
Per the patent data, position data can be calculated based on, for example, acceleration, orientation, and static parameters of a stylus. As the Apple Pencil contacts contours of the object, the position data of the Pencil can allow mapping of the object as well as digital rendering thereof. The Apple Pencil can also be used to virtually create three-dimensional illustrations.
Coordinate measuring machines are used for measuring objects or for marking and laying out patterns on a workpiece. These machines provide for movement of a probe in any one of three mutually perpendicular coordinate directions (x, y, and z axes). In some coordinate measuring machines, a measuring probe is brought into contact with a workpiece on a surface plate, and the coordinates at each point of contact are recorded.
However, Apple thinks there’s a better way. In the patent data, the tech giant says hand-held, wireless input devices, such as the Apple Pencil, could provide accurate coordinate measurement without being mechanically attached to external tracking equipment. Instead, all or substantially all of the components for measuring and recording coordinates of an object could be entirely contained within the Pencil itself.
For example, position data can be calculated based on acceleration, orientation, and static parameters of the device. As the Apple. Pencil contacts contours of an object, its position data could allow mapping of the object as well as digital rendering of the object. Also, per Apple’s patent, the Apple Pencil could be used to virtually create three-dimensional illustrations.