Patent-mania running wild from Apple is nothing new, though these recent filings do seem a tad focused on enabling new form factors, don't they? To go along with the iFlip and iPhone Nano, and the iSlider, comes a little something that just might allow for an iStylus:
Another interesting possibility raised is the use of both capacitance (finger tip) and resistance (fingernail) to provide secondary functionality in future touch screens. [...] Apple suggests the addition of pressure sensitivity to provide additional functionality. For example, touching an item in a list with your fingertip would select it, while pressing it with your fingernail (or otherwise shielded finger or stylus) could bring up a pop-up menu (see picture above).
It's suggested that the patent could make things like text selection and -- wait for it -- cut and paste much easier to multi-touch, with the resistance input being akin to a right-button action on a mouse. Of course, we all know how much Steve Jobs loves buttons, never mind his audible YUCK! at the concept of a stylus.
However, resistance touch could be a blessing to those with long nails, who have complained that they have trouble getting the fleshy part of their finger to properly make contact with the current capacitance sensors. No matter how outdated (--cough--Treo 600--cough--) the technology is.
But never mind what I think, are you hankering to get your iStylus on? And if so, why so?