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Apple came up with tech that lets you feel digital surfaces

Apple patents

Apple submitted patents for a smart pen technology that could bring some very interactive features to Mac and iOS products of the future. These patents detail a camera-equipped stylus, which will be able to scan the physical texture of objects as it traces over them. Once the landscape of an object has been registered, the connected device will map it out accurately on screen as an image so that users can study objects.

Also mentioned in the patents is a device that looks like large cordless telephone. Details are slim, but it could potentially end up supplementing the smart stylus, providing users with detailed tactile feedback of the scanned texture.

Apple patent

Credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office

It’s hard to see this technology being too useful outside of the education sector, where students could hypothetically use these devices to study geography, or take part in hands-on virtual field trips. It’s also possible that this tech could be of great use as an accessibility tool.

To use a stylus comfortably, you usually need a fairly large screen. Now, I can’t help but think that this could be another hint toward the oft-rumored iPad Pro.

Via Venture Beat

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.