Future Apple Pencil could work with Vision Pro thanks to modular 'sleeve'

iPad and Apple Pencil 1
(Image credit: iMore)

The Apple Vision Pro could have Apple Pencil compatibility with an as-yet unannounced Apple Pencil according to a new patent that shows an Apple Pencil with a specialized sleeve integrated with sensors.

The patent filing states, “A system may include an electronic device such as a head-mounted device and a handheld input device for controlling the electronic device.” Without jumping to conclusions, a head-mounted device sounds awfully similar to Apple’s latest and greatest product.

The patent continues, “The handheld input device may include a stylus and a removable sleeve on the stylus. The input-output capabilities of the handheld input device may be shared between the stylus and the removable sleeve.” This implies an external sleeve with built-in sensors that allow you to control visionOS when you slot your Pencil inside it.

The patent also says the stylus may include touch sensor circuitry, a force-sensitive tip, and a motion sensor. While an Apple Pencil isn’t the first thing I think of in terms of future upgrades to Vision Pro, it could become a seriously cool way to interact with the mixed-reality headset.

Apple Pencil on Vision Pro?

Imagine an augmented reality experience on a future headset that allows you to draw on your environments with an Apple Pencil. Even as someone who isn’t remotely artistic, that sounds incredibly cool.

I can imagine the tool becoming a system seller for those who work in industries like architecture, bringing the benefits of the Apple Pencil on iPad into the world of Vision Pro and visionOS. Apple’s stylus is one of the best on the market, and the ability to use an Apple Pencil in visionOS would really set the headset apart from its rivals.

It’s worth remembering that patents might never see the light of day, so while this does hint at a future Apple Pencil for Vision Pro, we might never see this reality.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.