Future Apple Watches may let you handwrite on their screens

FIGs. 6D-6F illustrate user interfaces for handwriting on screens.

Future Apple Watches may let you handwrite on their screens as evidenced by a newly granted Apple patent (number US 11941243 B2) for a “Handwriting Keyboard for Screens.”

About the patent

The patent relates generally to computer user interfaces, and more specifically to techniques for handwriting on small screens. In the patent Apple notes that wearable electronic devices such as the Apple Watch often have display screens for displaying information and allowing for a minimal amount of interface with the electronic device and content stored thereon.

Apple adds that some of these wearable devices include touch sensitive surfaces, but the screens are of such small size that it is difficult to enter text on the device directly. Other methods of data entry, such as dictation are possible but have downsides as well. In the case of messaging, predefined messages are of some use for are only appropriate when one of the limited number of predefined messages applies the current situation.

Apple says that some techniques for handwriting on small screens “are generally cumbersome and inefficient.” The tech giant’s patent involves  techniques that provide electronic devices such as the Apple Watch with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for handwriting on small screens. 

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “The present disclosure generally relates to handwriting on touch sensitive surfaces. In some examples, text suggestions strokes entered on a touch sensitive surface are viewed and selected in response to a rotatable input mechanism. In some examples, text determined from a set of strokes on the touch sensitive surface is revised based on a subsequently entered stroke on the touch sensitive surface. In some examples, a determination is made whether to include a stroke in a set of strokes based a time between the stroke and the previous stroke. In some examples, determining text based on a set of stroke is interrupted to determined revised text based on the set of strokes and a second stroke.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.