On April 6, Apple released a report titled “Apple is reinventing the Magic Keyboard with a waterproof design and a trackpad that can accommodate both touch input and Apple Pencil.” On Thursday, the US Patent & Trademark Office released an Apple patent application that reveals more about the dual touch sensor to fit both touch and active stylus input, this time for iPhones, trackpads and beyond.
Apple patent states that touch screens can be configured to detect both passive conductive objects (for example, fingers, passive styli) and active styli. For example, the electronic device can perform mutual or self-capacitive scanning to detect conductive objects (eg, performing “touch swipe”) and perform stylus scans to detect the active stylus.
The touchscreen that can detect both passive objects and active styluses can include future iMacs, MacBooks, touchpads, iPhones, and Apple Watch. In some examples, the touchscreen # 400 of patent Fig. 4A below can detect a stylus signal provided by an active stylus using touch pads 404 and 406.
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In addition to performing tactile scans to detect an object such as a finger or passive stylus, computer system 200 may also perform stylus scans to detect an active stylus and may communicate with a stylus. For example, an active stylus can be used as an input device on the surface of a touch screen of a touch device.
Apple’s patent FIG. 5 below illustrates an example of an active stylus. Stylet # 500 may include one or more electrodes # 502, which may be located, for example, at a distal end of the stylet (eg, the tip of the stylet). As shown in Fig. 5, the stylet may include a # 501 tip electrode and a # 503 ring electrode. The tip electrode may include a material capable of transmitting the stylus stimulation signal from the # 504 stylus stimulation circuit to the touch device, such as a flexible conductor, a metal, a conductor enveloped by a non-conductor, a non-conductive coating. with a metal, a transparent conductive material (eg, ITO) or a transparent non-conductive material (eg, glass) coated with a transparent (eg, ITO) or opaque material, or the like.
Apple’s patent FIG. 6 above illustrates an exemplary touch sensor panel configuration usable with the computer system to perform stylus scanning.
Apple patent FIGS. 7A-7B below illustrate part of exemplary touch circuit # 700 that detects an active stylus # 702. Detecting the presence of the stylus can allow the user to control or provide other inputs to the electronic device using the stylus, such as using the stylus to select a user interface element or to write or write. draw on the touch screen of the electronic device.
While Apple’s new touchscreen can support both the touch pen and the active pen, users will need to be careful not to touch the screen in the same area where the user is drawing. In the example, FIG. 8B below, a user draws wavy lines but just manages to touch the screen at the same time in the same areas that interfere with signals and produce a broken line in the drawn lines.
Apple’s patent application 20210096723 was published earlier this month and initially filed in the third quarter of 2020.