The folks at Apple have once again pushed out a patent for a device they've never before suggested they'd go through with, this time an "iPen" complete with haptic feedback and a speaker. This device has been discovered by Patently Apple will likely never see the light of day, but was indeed filed by inventors Aleksandar Pance and Omar Leung for Apple back in the fourth quarter of 2010 and was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office today. Have a peek at what might have been - or what may be in the near future.
The Apple iPen was meant to work with a tablet device (or Koala pad, whatever the device you're seeing here would have ended up being), and would work with an active application and operating system between drivers on both the pen and the device its writing on. This means that there's one whole heck of a lot more going on here than in the majority of the stylus devices we see today save perhaps Samsung's solution with the S-Pen on the Galaxy Note: Samsung Galaxy Note for AT&T Review.
One of the bigger things holding Apple back from doing anything like this, from creating a pen at all, is the fact that it'd have to be a detachable piece of hardware made to work with the main piece of hardware: the tablet. The closest we've come to this sort of situation on a mobile device from Apple has been the SIM card slot on the iPad and iPhone - and it pushes in essentially flush with the device in the end.
"An input device capable of generating haptic feedback may help a user navigate content displayed on the display screen, and may further serve to enhance the content of various applications by creating a more appealing and realistic user interface." - Apple Patent
This iPen has a haptic actuator down the middle, a transmitter and sensor up near its head, and a receiver down by its tip. Between the controller/driver and the receiver, you've got your demodulator/decoder, and the whole thing is powered by what appears to be a relatively small battery at the back end. This device is very likely not going to lead to much of anything, much less an addition to the next iPad or iPhone. Keep on dreaming, lovers of the stylus, or just go get a Samsung device.
[via Patently Apple]