Apple has a patent for a future generation of the Apple Pencil that will include optical sensors for textures and colors. With this ability, the Pencil could become a much more useful tool for artists, as well as being more accurate for note-taking.
It will be possible to use the Apple Pencil to take colors and textures from real-world items. Think of it as a real-life “eyedropper”, the tool that is in artist and creation software to select color grades. Apple's idea is to give users the ability to create a bank of their favourite textures and colors.
Furthermore, the technology will have an adjustable light emitter with a custom light spectrum. This will allow users to adjust color measurement for more accurate reproductions.
During the measurements, the light emitter on the Apple Pencil can be modulated. The company is also baking an inertial measurement unit that will provide the ability to measure the angle of the Pencil next to the surface during the color measurement.
Once the Apple Pencil makes the necessary measurements, it sends them to an iPad, iPhone, or another device to be uploaded to creation software.
As always, patents are not a guarantee a product or software will ever see the light of day. Even so, Apple is likely to launch a new Apple Pencil at some point and the company will undoubtedly want to make the stylus more functional than ever before.
It is unlikely to make it to the next generation of the device, but it could be included in a future Apple Pencil.
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