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Patent Describes Trackpad-Compatible Apple Pencil Stylus

’s Pencil is a capable stylus, but it definitely isn’t the cheapest out there — at $99, it costs more than Walcom’s Creative Stylus 2 ($60), Microsoft’s Surface Pen ($60), and ’s S Pen ($16). That’s hard to swallow for a peripheral constrained to iPad apps, but if a new application is any indication, its limitations may be only temporary. An filing granted in May new Pencil hardware that supports gesture-based commands and works with Mac trackpads.

The application for “Stylus with inertial sensor,” which was submitted two years ago, shows a stylus that interfaces seamlessly with the of a Macbook or an iMac-compatible Magic . Using “electromagnetic signals from electrodes at the first end of the stylus,” the theoretical Pencil would translate movements along the ’s surface into sketches within digital drawing pads, note-taking programs, and any other apps that support it.

Related: Whip out your Apple Pencil and try out the 11 best iPad Pro drawing apps

The goes further. A hub of motion-tracking sensors would allow the Pencil to register “in-air gestures” that would trigger onscreen actions — you could program a “circle eight” motion to launch a Safari tab and a fist pump to trigger LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” Thanks to a combination of precise orientation tracking and embedded capacitive sensors, it would allow you to manipulate objects and windows within OS X, too — think rotating a 3D object in Blender, flipping through slides in Keynote, or moving a character in a video game. And wilder still, capacitive sensors would process both single-touch and multitouch gestures for the purpose of, say, increasing the thickness of a brush in Photoshop to correspond with your grip strength.

There’s no telling whether or not the supercharged Apple Pencil the patent will ever come to market, of course — filings are poor indicators of company road maps. At best, it’s a glimpse into designs Apple is mulling over, and perhaps the precursor to a polished, mass-market product somewhere down the line. Given the utility of a beefed-up Apple Pencil, though, it seems a likelier candidate for the light of day than most.

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