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Apple Registers Patent: Apple Pencil Will Soon Scan The Real Colors

Apple Pencil Patent

Apple may be working on an exciting new feature for the iPad (Pro). According to a report, a future variant of the Apple Pencil could integrate an advanced sensor that the digital stylus uses to recognize the colors of the real world.

It is well known that Apple – largely in secret – is constantly tinkering with improvements and innovations for its entire product range. From time to time, however, information is released to the public sometime before the technology is presented. Exactly that could have happened recently: A document published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) entitled Computer System With Color Sampling Stylus describes a clever color recognition function for the Apple Pencil in more detail.

Novel sensor in the pencil tip

Apple already filed the patent application with the US authority in November 2019, according to the information available. It does not explicitly refer to Apple Pencil, but the drawings it contains represent an input device that is very similar to the well-known digitizing pen for the iPad. The big innovation here is the color sensor integrated into the pencil plus the associated detection technology. In the tip of the conceived pen are the photodetectors and a small lamp – the latter probably for more accurate color detection. 

The electronics for processing the data collected in this way are located at the end of the pen. The benefit of integrating color detection in the Apple Pencil should be particularly obvious to artists and creative professionals. For example, you could use the pen to record the exact color of a real object and use it in a drawing app or another program for your own work. In addition, the function could also help in general to carry out an exact color calibration for screens and printouts. Or to help the user find out a specific color of a cosmetic item.

Despite all conceivable possibilities for this technology, Apple’s patent application does not mean that an appropriately equipped pencil will actually come onto the market. However, based on past experience with comparable patent applications, there is at least a good chance of it. The patent also shows in which direction Apple’s considerations regarding the Apple Pencil are aimed.