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Is The iPen the Next Big Thing from Apple?

Despite the late Steve Jobs’ mockery of a stylus, Apple has been tinkering with the notion of an iPen complete with haptic feedback.

That’s according to a newly published patent application unearthed by enthusiast site Patently Apple. Apple’s idea for an iPen would include haptic feedback to improve the user interface.

Users would feel a small vibration depending on how much pressure they applied to the stylus, or whether the stylus moved over a link on the screen, creating a more realistic experience. It could also vary depending on the angle of the stylus, orientation to the screen, and how quickly it is moving.

In addition, the iPen could include a speaker that simulates sounds of brush or pen strokes; the sounds would rise or lower in volume depending on the pressure applied.

A stylus would be useful for the iPad, but could be applied to its other touch-screen devices, such as the iPhone or iPod Touch.

While Jobs has famously decried the use of stylus on mobile devices, several apps have sprung up that require such a device for accurate drawing and writing. Paper and Autodesk’s SketchBook are two popular apps ideally suited for a stylus, rather than a finger. Gaming is another area where a stylus may come in handy.

Of course, Apple files patent applications for technology it may never use in commercial products.

To read the entire story, go to CNet

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