A majority of Apple’s range of products and accessories have Find My capabilities, allowing them to be located in instances where they’re lost or left behind.
Apple’s digital stylus for iPad, the Apple Pencil, is a popular accessory for artists, note-takers and document editors. But it’s also easy to lose or misplace, especially if you don’t have a magnetic attachment or a case to store it. It’s an accessory that does not feature Find My capabilities.
However, according to a new patent, Apple might be working on a feature for the Apple Pencil 3 that will help you locate it.
The patent, which was spotted by PatentlyApple, suggests that the Apple Pencil 3 would use acoustic signalling to help you locate it. Acoustic signalling is a way of using sound waves to communicate between devices. In the case of the Apple Pencil 3, the patent suggests that it could emit a sound that is inaudible to human ears but can be detectable by the iPad or iPhone. Your iPhone would then be able to guide you in the direction of the lost Apple Pencil, similar to how you can track your AirTag.
Apple’s Find My app can locate various devices and accessories, such as AirPods, AirTags and iPhones. These devices use Bluetooth or ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to communicate with each other and show their location on a map. It is likely that Apple decided to skip using Bluetooth or (UWB) technology for Find My for the Apple Pencil due to size restraints. Bluetooth and UWB require batteries and antennas, which may not fit inside the slim body of the stylus.
According to PatentlyApple, acoustic vibration frequencies associated with an acoustic signal can be between 1 kHz — 20 kHz, and while these frequencies would allow you to find your Apple Pencil when it is lost within your home, it’ll be useless when trying to find it when it is lost outdoors, and far from your location.
It’s worth noting that the information comes from a patent, and it is uncertain if the acoustic signalling future will make its way to the next Apple Pencil. Further, it’s currently unknown if and when Apple plans to release the Apple Pencil 3.
The patent can be found here.