Next Apple Pencil could integrate a camera in the top

Aside from the addition of wireless charging and slightly changed shape, the Apple Pencil 2 isn’t much different from the first generation. But it looks like Apple is preparing a change for its stylus that could add new advanced features. Most likely, however, this “Apple Pencil 3”, for which the company already holds several patents, will only be compatible with the next generation of tablets, with OLED display.

Apple Pencil 3 could extract colors from any surface

In 2024, Apple could offer the first major upgrade for iPad Pro models in years, making the switch from LCD screens to some OLED ones. With this transition, the company could bring a new Apple Pencil to market, with a similar design on the outside but new capabilities on the inside.

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That’s because Apple has patented a system of interchangeable tips for a stylus that could change the way it works. In addition to a different shape or other features of a stylus tip that could change behavior in software, it’s also mentioned that the stylus could be equipped with a camera and microphone.

apple_pencil_optical_sensor_6

Integrating a camera into the tip of the pencil could allow colors to be extracted from anywhere and then used in creative software. What’s more, having a camera would allow you to capture realistic textures, which you could then apply in editing software. The microphone functionality isn’t exactly clear, but it could be used for Siri commands, for example.

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Other new features the Apple Pencil 3 could get are a speaker, perhaps for the Find My function, just like on the AirPods Pro 2, a rotary control button, on-off button, a biometric sensor, and a touch surface for control. All of these seem like good ideas, but could negatively affect the autonomy of the accessory.

apple pencil camera
photo: Yanko Design

Incidentally, the most important upgrade for the Apple Pencil at the moment might be better battery life and improved latency. Anything Apple offers on top of these will most likely be considered “bonus” by users.

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