Several news sources report about a newly uncovered Apple patent application poetically titled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ACQUIRING AND ORGANIZING INK INFORMATION IN PEN-AWARE COMPUTER SYSTEMS” which some people speculate would be about the upcoming Apple Tablet.
The patent focuses on pen based input and details some improvements on current systems such as those used by Wacom and Microsoft.
The patent is written in typical ‘patent language’ style which means that unless you have a lot of imagination it will be a long and boring read. Here is an excerpt:
An ink manager running at a computer system receives ink information entered at a pen-based input/display device and accumulates the ink information into ink strokes.
Fortunately we have images!
Doesn’t that look like an Apple Tablet to you? Well, maybe.
This looks very similar to what we are used to from the iPhone and iPod Touch with a horizontal menu bar at the bottom and it seems logical that the Apple Tablet will use the iPhone OS.
Those of us who are old enough to remember the Apple Netwon might notice that the image also looks VERY much like the bottom bar of the Newton. Pictured on the right here is a screenshot.
See those Arrows and Icons? In the patent the description for the bottom icons is as follows:
An array of input buttons 206a-f may also be displayed. By tapping the buttons 206a-f with the pen 120, the user may cause various commands to be carried out by the computer system 100. Up and down scroll buttons 208a and 208b, which can be similarly activated by the pen 120, may also be provided.
That sounds more like what the Newton used to do than what the iPhone currently does. So maybe this supposed “Apple Tablet” patent is nothing more than an old Newton technology patent that spent 20 years in someone file cabinet.
If all goes well Apple will introduce some form of an Apple tablet in 2010. Will it include a styles? I don’t think so…