Will iPhone Get a Stylus? Apple Patents “Digital Ink Recognition”

Apple has filed a patent for some sort of “digital ink recognition” technology.

The ink manager collects separate ink strokes, determines when a whole phrase has been entered and passes that phrase to a handwriting recognition engine.

Whether you were going to get upset or get excited about the idea of a stylus for your iPhone, don’t do either… yet.

The patent suggests the technology is for “pen-based computers,” especially for entering data into forms, and the word “tablet” is mentioned 58 times in the application.

Although the patent refers to a “tablet” specifically, I could definitely see Apple deploying this technology on a future iPhone model if it worked out on their forthcoming tablet.

Think about it. Apple is going to have to seriously focus on hardware now that App Store developers do most of the work creating apps. We finally have copy & paste on our iPhones. We finally have a video camera. What are they going to woo us with next? Well, what about “digital ink recognition” technology?

But a Stylus for iPhone?

If you recall, one of the selling points Steve Jobs pitched to the public when the iPhone was revealed at Macworld in January 2007 was that it was a multitouch interface with no stylus.

Will this patent make a stylus-based iPhone more appealing? Do you want a stylus for filling out forms on your iPhone? What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Will iPhone Get a Stylus? Apple Patents “Digital Ink Recognition””

  1. Is there any way to passcode protect iPhone MMS (Messages)? There are a lot of people who would rather not have their messages seen by anyone else!

  2. I use my iPhone for everything except I find that typing on the virtual keyboard just isn’t fast enough for taking notes during a fast-paced meeting. This is where the ability to jot hand-written notes using a stylus would come in handy.

  3. I had a stylus or two or three that comes from china. It worked on the iphone, but with no place to store it on the phone or in my phone case, I kept losing it. I decided I can do okay without out it–not necessarily. If apple provides a stylus with the phone or sells a stylus, then I would suggest a place to store it on the phone.

    • iPhone is a phone which was never meant to be used with a stylus. It was the first phone which had the multi-touch feature in it. That is the reason it is much more fun to use an iPhone with fingers. With a stylus, you can only touch one thing on the screen, which totally ruins the concept of multi-touch.

      Hence, I think iPhone should not have a stylus at all.


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