In October 2018 Patently Apple posted an IP report titled “Apple Working on a Next-Gen Apple Pencil that uses Ultrasonic Transducers to better capture Movement Precision.”
Apple notes that data from Apple Pencil (such as touch, force, orientation, tilt, or the like) could be communicated to the touch screen and use that data to change an output of the display or perform some other operation.
Apple’s patent FIG. 6A below illustrates a next generation Apple Pencil #600 outfitted with a plurality of ultrasonic transducers #610. Each ultrasonic transducer can be configured to transmit and receive ultrasonic waves and in FIG. 6A they’re arranged in a plurality of rows #614.
For more on this you can review our original 2014 IP report here or Apple’s granted patent 10,606,418.
Portable Devices using a Tactile Vibrator
In January 2016 Patently Apple posted a patent application report titled “Apple Invention Covers Haptic System for Apple Watch, Sports Bands and Biometric Monitors,” which illustrated a health-related haptics system for Apple Watch that could also possibly work with a chest strap heart rate monitor. Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted this invention to Apple.
Apple’s granted patent relates to portable electronic devices like an Apple Watch or heart rate monitor strap that could include one or more vibration generating systems (also referred to herein as vibrators or vibration assemblies), which may be configured to generate audible and/or inaudible vibrations.
Apple’s granted patent may be applicable to virtually any consumer electronic product which is designed to come into contact with the user’s skin, including devices which are held by the user, attached to a body part of the user or otherwise placed against the user’s skin. The product need not come in direct contact with the user’s skin as it may be configured to provide tactile feedback through clothing.
Some of this technology has been integrated into the heart rate monitor in Apple Watch (watchOS 6) that delivers “haptic notifications” as noted in Apple’s bottom notes on their support page.
Apple’s granted patent 10,603,690 was originally filed in Q4 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.