New Apple patent depicts an Apple Pencil with a status indicator

Apple Pencil display patent image
Apple Pencil display patent image (Image credit: Apple patent)

What you need to know

  • A new Apple Patent includes a stylus with a display of some sort.
  • That display could be LED or LCD.
  • It could be used to show a selected color, etc.

The latest Apple patent to be picked up by Apple Insider is number 20190324561, "Stylus with Display." And it looks like it's exactly what that name would suggest.

The patent shows an Apple Pencil-like stylus with a display that could be either LED or LCD. That display could be used for a few things, such as to show the color that would be implemented when the stylus was used.

"A stylus can be provided with an on-board display that indicates to a user a color that will be applied when operating the stylus with an external device," the patent application goes on to say. "The display on the stylus can be positioned to conveniently provide an indication of the color. For example, the display can be provided at or near a tip that is used to contact the external device."

The stylus could also be used as some sort of digital color picker. Allowing the stylus to be placed against an object and then having the color recognized and used in software sounds awesome, and something that would be of huge benefit for image editors and artists alike.

Another method for selecting colors could be to have a way to rotate the pencil's display to make selections. Similar to a dial, for example.

As always it's important to remember that Apple applies for tons of patents each year and only a fraction of them become products. Which category this patent will fall into is anyone's guess, but there's no denying it sounds pretty cool!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.