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?

Should Nokia Sue Apple for iPhone Patent Infringement? [Poll]

Nokia Sues Apple Over iPhone

Mashable reports that Nokia has sued Apple, claiming that the iPhone infringes “on 10 of the company’s patents relating to GSM, UMTS and WLAN technologies.”

The lawsuit, analysts predict, could cost Apple $1 billion. And some say Nokia has a strong case.

What Do You Think?

Is Nokia right to sue Apple? Will the lawsuit award Nokia some much-deserved money or will it hurt Nokia’s image more than help it? Please share your opinion in this poll:


Touchscreen BlackBerry to Take On iPhone?

Touchscreen BlackBerry Patent

A Research in Motion (RIM) patent application points to the possibility of a touchscreen BlackBerry in the near future.

Because the patent application was published only four months after it was filed, as opposed to the typical 18-month waiting period, it’s possible that the production of a touchscreen BlackBerry could be right on the horizon.

The first line of the patent’s abstract reads:

A touchscreen liquid crystal display, method for using a liquid crystal display as a user input, and a mobile electronic device are provided.

Could it be a fake?

A commenter on ZDNet suggests that RIM could just be “spin doctoring” in an attempt to throw off its competitor, Apple.

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Microsoft CEO Denies Zune Phone Rumors

AT&T iPhone Q&A

Not that the Zune phone would be a threat to the iPhone, but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has downplayed rumors that the company would be creating any sort of Zune mobile phone. Instead, Ballmer said, Microsoft will focus on adding Zune features to Windows Mobile handhelds.

Enough about that. It’s not that I’ve got an Apple bias, just that I’ve always thought the Zune was Microsoft’s desperate attempt at jumping into the PMP market a little too late. By today’s standards, the Zune is already big and clunky, and not very innovative.

Zune Phone Patent Application Reveals Shoddy Interface

Zune Phone Patent

This post needn’t be lengthy because the concept image of the interface on Microsoft’s possibly upcoming Zune phone speaks for itself.

The image is from a patent filed by Microsoft last June, so I’m not suggesting that Microsoft borrowed the icons-on-a- touchscreen concept from Apple.

Wired thinks it’s simply a matter of “some ideas seem to have their time and pop up in different places simultaneously, just like the TV which popped up independently on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time.”

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