New patent hints at Find My support for Apple Pencil

New patent hints at Find My support for Apple Pencil

Apple is working on a new hardware feature that will allow it to add Find My support to the Apple Pencil. A patent recently published by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) describes adding an acoustic resonator to a stylus or other peripheral input device.

Find My is a vast network of devices that can be used to track the location of Apple devices and supported third-party accessories. However, the Apple Pencil is yet to make it to the list of supported devices, although, it can magnetically attach to the side of an iPad to reduce the chances of getting lost.

As per the patent application [PDF], spotted by Patently Apple, an acoustic resonator can be fitted inside the Apple Pencil at the end opposite to the tip and it can be used to track the device.

“Locating a lost stylus, or other peripheral input device can be made possible by acoustic resonators integrated within housing structures of the stylus. Acoustic resonators can be formed at the end of the stylus opposite its tip, and can include portions of the stylus outer housing that are thinned down to engineered thickness that has a particular resonant behavior or frequency,”the patent reads.

The patent describes that an electronic device, such as an iPhone, Mac, or Apple Watch, can be used to track the location of the Apple Pencil. It can leverage the resonator to generate an acoustic signal, causing the pencil to vibrate. The patent adds that a user can command an electronic device to initiate a location request “either directly, or via a network.”

Also, the vibrating frequency can be configured to fall within the audible human hearing range if the “target detector”is a user. However, more optimized frequencies consuming less power can be used if an electronic device is used for detection.

For reference, this appears different from what Apple currently uses to track nearby devices where iPhones can use the UWB chip to locate AirTags and 2nd Gen AirPods Pro in their vicinity. It remains to be seen when (and if) the tech described in the patent sees the daylight.

Source: Patently Apple via 9to5Mac

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