To add a stylus, or not to add a stylus? That is the question that has plagued Apple ever since styli made a resurgence in recent years. Everyone from Samsung to Microsoft likes to mock Apple's iPad for not having a stylus. Now, a new Apple patent for a multitouch, extendable nib stylus has popped up.
Over the years, several different stylus patents have arrived on the desk of the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from Apple, but none of them has become a reality. Right before Apple released the iPad Air, the blogosphere was filled with rumors that Apple would finally give its iPad a stylus.
When the first few moments of the iPad Air promo video showed a pencil, everyone gasped, but in the end, the pencil symbolized thinness, not a stylus. Granted, there are so many great styli out there that are compatible with the iPad that it almost doesn't matter. However, many iPad fans are still waiting for that stylus to arrive.
Hence the excitement that broke out when the USPTO published this new Apple stylus patent on Thursday, calling it "Input Device Having Extendable Nib."
According to the patent, the stylus would feature an expandable nib, which would be mutitouch, meaning that the more of the nib that touches the iPad's touchscreen, the wider the stroke would appear on the display. The nib would also be flexible, so that it could act like a paintbrush against the display.
The patent states that the nib would be made out of a flexible and conductive material such as Mylar, or the nib could be made of fiber optic strands, which would add light to the iPad's surface. Apple also listed smartphones, gaming consoles, music-listening devices and more as potential devices that would use the extendable, nibbed stylus.
Most styli are rather rigid and not exactly ideal for painting or certain types of shading, bit Apple's nib stylus could work quite well for artists. Still, it seems unlikely that this stylus will make it to market any time soon. In the meantime, the Nomad Brush, Sensu and TruGlide brush styli are good alternatives for artists, who are looking for a more brush-like experience.
Apple will probably introduce a stylus for iPad eventually, but the first one will most likely be more standard than this one, which seems more fancy and specialized.