Watch out, Wacom and Adobe! In a new patent granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company is reportedly looking at a next-generation Apple Pencil with swappable nib modules. While the patent doesn’t exclusively outline what these nibs would look like or be used for, it focuses more on the underlying technology, which would allow nibs to connect to the pencil handle via a special lightning-style connector.

The Apple Pencil is arguably the iPad Pro‘s secret sauce. Along with the Pencil, the iPad Pro becomes the ultimate creator’s setup (for both 2D as well as 3D creation). It would therefore make sense to explore how the Pencil could further become a ‘power-user’ tool, allowing creators to unlock new potentials. Yanko Design has imagined what these new nibs could look like, with explorations for more niche 2D uses. The interchangeable nibs include a fine-tip nib, a chisel nib, and a flexible brush-pen nib. Other nib styles could unlock 3D modeling features like being able to sculpt on the iPad.

While the current Apple Pencil has features like tilt recognition and pressure sensitivity, allowing it to function as any sort of drawing tool, the presence of a specialized nib helps seamlessly replicate the tactile experience of, say, drawing with a brush pen or a chisel marker. Moreover, the ability to replace nibs essentially increases the lifespan of the Pencil by allowing you to replace nibs when they wear down after constant use. “The filing suggests the nib could contain several different sensors for varying purposes. The component list includes tactile sensors, contact sensors, capacitive and touch sensors, a camera, a piezoelectric sensor, a pressure sensor, or a photodiode”, reports Apple Insider.

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth

Patent via: USPTO

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