Apple Files Patent for “Active Stylus” For Use with iPods, iPhones and iPads

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News Posted: Wed, Jan 2 2013 9:24 AM
Apple may be looking to improve upon the stylus as we know it today. The Cupertino company filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for what it calls an "Active Stylus," which can be used on capacitive touch sensor panels like those found on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices.

"Conventional styluses are passive input devices in that they are incapable of actively transmitting stimulus signals or sensing a touch-induced capacitance change in a capacitive touch sensor panel...Unlike conventional styluses which work passively by blocking electric field lines between the drive and sense electrodes of a capacitive touch sensor panel, the styluses disclosed in the various embodiments of this disclosure can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both," Apple explains in its patent application.

Active Stylus

According to Apple, active styluses allow for more accurate input without driving up the cost. You could say that Apple is trying to reinvent the stylus, but an active stylus would perform the same functions as a traditional stylus, it would just do a better job.

One thing that's interesting to note is that Apple didn't directly file the patent application. The names that appear on the paperwork are Jonah Harley and David Simon, both of which are engineering managers at Apple.
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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 9:40 AM

Samsung already has these, oh oh I get it they wanna sue Samsung on something other than smart phone design so they get a patent on something Samsung already uses but with a different name!

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Our engineers have Dell laptops with a stylus using this technology. Funny that it isn't licensed from Apple. Oh, perhaps that's because APPLE DIDN'T INVENT IT, nor did Harley and Simon.

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Is it usual for patents to be approved when the patent applicant hasn't actually produced anything more than a description of how a competitor's actual product, that is physically already in existence, operates an its use scenarios?

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Yet another thing apple is copying, or getting on board with since they were wrong again... I believe even their god Mr. Jobs said


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Anyone remember that story from a year or two ago about south Koreans using sausages as stylus's because of the extreme cold?  Therefore the pork industry should sue Apple for patent infringement, a warm sausage works just like a "Active" stylus.

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I think Wacom might have something to say about this...

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This is going to be interesting to hear how this stylus issue is going to turn out. In other words, who is going to sue who. Lol

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