A newly published patent filing shows Apple is exploring the possibility of building support for the Find My device locating system into a future version of the Apple Pencil. At the very least, the stylus might be able to play an alert sound to make it more findable.
Other products from the company already have this feature.
Apple Pencil with Find My support: Hallelujah!
Anyone who’s ever misplaced their Apple Pencil can see the benefit of some digital help finding it. The same is true for many other devices, which is why Apple created the Find My system and app.
This allows an iPhone, Mac, etc. to use Bluetooth to set off an audible alarm on a misplaced device. Beyond, that, the device can be located by any iPhone that passes near it, allowing its location to be determined almost anywhere on Earth.
And there’s good evidence it might be coming to Apple Pencil.
A patent filing from Apple published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes a “Peripheral Device With Acoustic Resonator.” The description says, “Locating a lost stylus, or other peripheral input device can be made possible by acoustic resonators integrated within housing structures of the stylus.”
Acoustic resonators are used to amplify sounds. The patent filing describes a method to make a louder alert sound coming from a stylus.
Other parts of the filing also seem much like the Find My system. “An electronic device can communicate a location request to the stylus and can cause the stylus to
generate an acoustic signal for a specified target detector using the acoustic resonators,” wrote the Apple engineers.
Keep your fingers crossed
A patent application isn’t a guarantee that Apple intends to turn an idea into a future product. The company regularly patents concepts and designs that never make it into the real world. Apple receives a lot of patents.
But the Find My system is already built into iPhone, Mac, iPad and Apple Watch as well as the latest AirPods Pro. And it’s the whole reason for AirTags. Extending it to Apple Pencil — a peripheral that’s easy to misplace — seems a reasonable move.