The recent patent by Apple that reveals plans for a futuristic pen that can write on any surface without touching the screen. Apple is already developing a futuristic pen or stylus that lets users draw on any surface including in mid-air. In recently filed patent the Silicon Valley Giant describes how the pen-like device can be operated without a touch-sensitive device such as touchscreen tablet or smartphone.

A device such as a computer would be wirelessly tethered to the stylus and a camera would track the movement of the pen via sensor according to the filing. As a result, the user would not be limited to 2D drawings they could also create 3D doodles in the mid-air. The patent was filed in July 2016 but was made only public in January 2018. The stylus would also be able to write on a typical surface like Macbook laptops, Mac desktops computer, as well as a new device like Apple Watch or iPhones. Though Apple already has a pencil. However, the Apple Pencil, which costs $99 (£79), can only draw on the iPad Pro.

Patent Description

According to the patent the next generation stylus would be controlled using two different methods The pen would have a force sensor in the tip of the device that detects whether it’s lifting off or touching on a new device. A’motion and orientation sensor’. such as a camera would track the movement of the stylus. It seems plausible that the camera feed could come from a computer webcam. 

It could also be tracked using an electromagnetic or sound based receiver, patent notes. The application shows the stylus being used to draw 3D objects, shapes, lines and handwritten words. When a user draws a shape in the air, t would certainly put the firm ahead of rivals’ devices, such as Microsoft’s Surface Pen or Google’s Pixelbook Pen.


USI wants to create a standard stylus design that manufacturers can use to create pens that are compatible with the touchscreen devices from different gadget maker such as tablet and computers. It counts 30 member countries as its member, including tech bigwigs Intel, LG, Dell and tablet maker Wacom. Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have yet to join USI.