Apple Advanced "Active Stylus" Patent Reminds Us It's Not Something We Want Until It Says We Do

4 January 2013, 9:28 am EST By Jimmie Geddes email: Mobile & Apps

Apple has long been known to say they have no interest in making certain devices or features only to later announce that said device or feature as an Apple invented-breakthrough. They tell us it's not something we want until they say we do.

When I say Apple makes these kinds of statements, it has almost always come out of the mouth of Steve Jobs. He told us that "nobody would watch a video on an iPod, the screen is too small, and the iPod is all about music. There's a big difference between the way people listen to music and do other activities like watching videos. You can listen to music in the background, while movies require that you actually watch them. You can't watch a video and drive a car. We're focused on Music." Apple would soon release the iPod video.

Steve Jobs also told us that 7-inch tablets were DOA (dead on arrival). He said "Just a handful of credible entrants. Almost all use 7" screen, compared to iPad at nearly 10" screen. 7" screen is only 45% as large as iPad's screen. Hold an iPad in portrait view and draw a horizontal line halfway down. What's left is a 7" screen...too small. There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can't touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary." Apple would release the 7.9" iPad mini in 2012 and it's so popular that many analysts believe its sales will surpass the 9.7" iPad.

At the launch of the original iPhone, Steve Jobs told us "Who wants a stylus?... Yuck! If you see a stylus they blew it. We're going to use the best pointing device in the world. We're going to use our fingers." An Apple stylus might be on the way in the near future.

Patently Apple has posted information on a new patent application that was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (US PTO) last week about an Advanced "Active Stylus" to work with iDevices that was submitted by Apple. The active stylus would significantly improve stylus sensing on capacitive touch sensor panels like the ones found on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The "active stylus" is described as being able to overcome common stylus problems.

Apple has been rumored to be working on "reinventing" the stylus for years. If we just look back at what Steve Jobs said Apple would never do plus the evidence of this patent application, we will probably see Apple reinvent the stylus soon. Apple loves to tell us what we don't want only to later create it and tell us we do want. This is the power of Apple's mind tricks!

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