Apple · January 5, 2023

The most wanted upgrade for Apple pencil is here

Image credits: Flickr

The Apple Pencil has become a favorite tool among iPad users, particularly digital artists.

But there is one feature on which they have their eyes for long. That feature is: color sampling from real world objects.

What is color sampling?

This new feature will enable artists to pick more natural colors from their environment.

This feature was first introduced in Magic pen by Jinsun Park and Scribble pen.

The following image pretty much explains how it works.

Magic pen. Image credits: Dornob

How color sampling will work in Apple Pencil?

Now, a similar feature has appeared in one of Apple’s latest patent applications. It describes a stylus (Apple Pencil) with built-in optical sensors. These sensors can sample color and texture from any surface.

Drawing from Apple’s US Patent Application No. 2022/041,3636

The color sensor is made up of multiple photodetectors. Each photodetector measures light of a different color channel (red, green, blue). 

The pencil also has a texture sensor which captures micro-images of surfaces to detect the texture. This feature would allow you, for example, to capture the leather texture on your wallet or the wooden texture of your desk.

The sensing also takes into account the angular orientation of the pencil during the measurement, ultimately obviating the need for you to be super precise about how you hold the pencil while picking the color/texture.

It’ll be interesting to try these features on Procreate and Photoshop.