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Apple patents stylus that doubles as a joystick, air mouse

It's more than just a digital pen.

A simple, high-quality pressure-sensitive stylus is all well and good for tablets, but can such a device really meet the needs of a desktop user? That seems to be the question Apple's asking with its latest patent. The company's latest technology patent dreams up a do-everything stylus capable of being a drawing device, air mouse and even a joystick.

Over 17 patent claims, Apple outlines a stylus packed with pressure sensitivity and six and nine-axis inertial sensors -- and describes a peripheral that can stand in for any number of devices. Used on a touch surface, for instance, the stylus might function as a normal pen. Lifted off a surface, it could be used to perform gestures or mouse movements. Standing on its tip, one could use it as a joystick, or rotate it left and right to turn a dial or move an object on a nearby computer screen.

It definitely sounds like a more advanced stylus than we see with most tablets, or even with Apple's own Pencil -- but not all patents make it to market. Still, the attached art shows the prospective device being used with what looks like a Mac, so at the very least we know that Apple's /thinking/ about new input devices for its desktop line. Check out the patent for yourself at the source link below.

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