Apple has filed for various patents that hint at new features in upcoming Apple Pencils. The latest is number 20220100290 for a “stylus with compressive force sensor.”
About the patent filing
Even though Apple has, in the past, said the Apple Pencil isn’t a stylus, the patent filing notes that a stylus can, of course, be used to manipulate textual and/or graphical display elements representing selectable virtual buttons or icons on a touch screen. The touch screen’s sensitive surface may allow a user to navigate the content displayed on the display screen. Apple says that, typically, a user can move one or more input devices, such as a stylus, across the touch panel in a pattern that the device translates into an input command.
However, the tech giant wants the Apple Pencil to be able to do more such as responding to “squeezing.” Apple says that additional input provided by detecting squeezing or compressive force can allow the Pencil to provide improved usability and on screen/off screen interaction with an iPhone or iPad.
For example, the squeezing input can provide context sensitive actions, program switching, tool switching, confirmation of actions, etc. The user can squeeze or compress the stylus at a natural grip position or other positions to provide different inputs to the electronic device.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing with some technical details: “A stylus input device can allow a user to interface with an external electronic device. The stylus can provide an additional or alternative input to the external electronic device in response to a user applying a compressive force to the device housing. The stylus can include multiple sensors to provide a signal in response to the compressive force applied to the stylus.”