A future version of the Apple Pencil could be upgraded with Apple’s handy Find My tech, allowing owners to locate the stylus if they misplace it.
According to a recent patent application unearthed by Patently Apple, the proposed Apple Pencil upgrade would have acoustic resonators built-in to alert users.
Because the design of the stylus doesn’t account for a speaker, Apple would put the resonator at the top part of the Pencil, under a cap housing a haptic module.
According to the patent: “The drive signal generated at the haptic module can be transferred to the acoustic resonators through a path of material that mechanical couples the acoustic resonators to the haptic module.”
This would allow the Pencil to create a sound and vibrate when a user needs to locate it.
The Apple Pencil is already equipped with Bluetooth, which is what would be used to determine its proximity. It doesn’t seem like there are plans to equip the Pencil with the same Ultra Wideband technology used in AirTags.
The addition of Find My to the Apple Pencil seems like an obvious win. The sleek, all-white styluses are a must-have accessory for the iPad, but they’re also small and easy to lose. What’s more, at $130 each (for the Gen 2 model) they’re not a throwaway purchase. And if you’ve got more than one, it’s a fair bet you’re going to want to keep tabs on them. It could also help Apple further differentiate its product from the best Apple pencil alternatives out there.
Using Find My for the Apple Pencil would reportedly work the same as it does for any other Apple gadget; the Pencil would be listed under the Devices tab in the Find My app.
Of course, the usual caveat applies that, since this is a patent filing, there’s no guarantee it will ever make it into an actual product. Furthermore, there have been previous Apple Pencil filings (no pun intended) that haven’t, as yet, amounted to much.
In 2021, uncovered Apple patents suggested the Pencil could introduce functional tip modules that would be interchangeable and therefore introduce new sensors. Another suggested a light sensor system could be added inside the Apple Pencil tip, so you could "pull" color from one object and paint with it in an app.
While both of these features would be cool, we’d argue the addition of Find My to the Apple Pencil would be even more welcome among users. The ability to track down your Apple Pencil quickly if it’s fallen out of your bag or rolled away under some furniture is the kind of real-life problem that should be addressed as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, if the Apple Pencil you do own isn’t working, here’s a breakdown of the most likely causes.