A new patent filed by Apple suggests that there may be a future version of the Apple Pencil that will be equipped with a biometric fingerprint scanner, advanced gesture support and perhaps even a camera.
The first generation of the Apple Pencil was launched in 2015 with that year’s iPad Pro model, with a refresh released in 2018 that included support for double-tap interactions.
With this patent filed recently by Apple, the next iteration of the stylus could see support for even more gestures, including a mention of a triple-tap feature, which could be used to perform various functions from cycling through colors, triggering an undo or redo function, or the changing of drawing tools between pen, pencil or an eraser.
The patent also points toward the possible support for the same fingerprint scanning technology used in Apple’s Touch ID biometric authentication system. This feature could be used to add secure Touch ID authentication for users using the stylus, or perhaps to help detect finger movement when drawing or writing.
Aside from these potential improvements, there is also mention that a future version of the Apple Pencil could come with a camera, a processor of its own, power supply and on-board memory.
Like many tech companies, Apple often files patents to secure its intellectual property and their presence doesn’t necessarily mean that any product launches or product improvements are guaranteed.
Apple has recently filed several patents, including ones that could see Face ID come to the Apple Watch, biometric sensors in AirPods, and several pertaining to in-display sensors for possible future iPhone releases.