Apple sees a lot of potential in its Pencil stylus.
The Apple Pencil is a stylus pen that debuted alongside the iPad Pro last November. It's a basic input device, even though it can detect angles, pressure sensitivity, and force, allowing you to apply dark or light strokes depending on how hard you press. While using Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro, you can simultaneously use your fingers. It basically makes electronic drawing on the iPad Pro more feasible.
But there's only so many ways you can use the stylus in its current form. Luckily for us, Apple has plenty more grand ideas for the gadget. The company has been granted a patent that allows Apple Pencil to work with the Magic Trackpad, which means you could use your Pencil to draw on a Mac. In other words, if this functionality comes to fruition, Wacom's days are numbered, as you'd no longer need tablet peripherals.
Apple applied for the patent in 2014. It describes other powerful features, too, including in-air gestures so that you can change between slides in Keynote or pages in Pages, for instance. You could even use Pencil as a joystick for games. Just keep in mind none of this may ever come to Apple Pencil, but it's still cool to see what the Cupertino company is considering behind the scenes.
Also, this isn't the only Apple Pencil patent we've seen granted recently. Another one detailed a stylus that uses swappable tips. These tips can be standard ones like a felt-tip pen, or they can be fancy ones such as a force-sensing bristle brush tip, motion-tracking camera, and a flashlight. Fingerprint recognition - similar to Touch ID - is further mentioned for authentication.
We're hoping all these features make it to Apple Pencil, but only time will tell.