Apple’s New XR Stylus Patent Could Describe Vision Pro’s First Controller

Vision Pro doesn’t support motion controllers, however Apple published a new patent last month that describes an Apple Pencil-like device which could point the way for the company’s first Vision Pro-supported controller.

As reported by The Mac Observer, the so-called ‘Handheld Controllers with Charging and Storage Systems’ patent was published on February 29th, specifying a stylus-like controller that enables the user to input to an XR headset.

This includes “swiping motions, waving motions, writing movements, drawing movements, shaking motions, rotations, etc,” the patent says.

Image courtesy US Patent Office, Apple

As patents tend to do, it’s fairly sparse on detail when it comes to functionality, although it notes that tracking could include “active or passive visual markers that can be tracked with an optical sensor in an external electronic device, [which] may include input devices such as touch sensors, force sensors, buttons, knobs, wheels.”

Instead, the patent deals more with how it’s docked and wirelessly charged. One of the ways could be by attaching to the head strap or “main housing portion of the head-mounted device,” the patent says.

Image courtesy US Patent Office, Apple

Notably, Vision Pro is all about magnets, as the light blocker, facial interface, and charging mount all snap in magnetically. Still, how such an XR stylus controller would fit into the existing hardware isn’t clear.

Another very Apple way of solving the docking/charging issue is an AirPod-style charging dock.

Image courtesy US Patent Office, Apple

Much like the Apple Pencil, it’s clear the patent authors are looking to appeal to creatives and the sort of professional users Sony is also looking to tap into with its own upcoming XR headset. Sony’s stylus-style controller includes its own desktop mount, but also a thumb-operated ring device, which is used to anchor 3D objects in a user’s hand while they manipulate with the stylus.

As intriguing as a Vision Pro stylus would be, it’s crucial to note that while all products have patents, not all patents have products, so take the above with a grain of salt. If Apple wanted to bring such as device to market, the company would also need to file it with the FCC, as well as other governmental authorities around the world, which is usually done shortly before launch.

As we know it, the Cupertino tech giant is basically a black box, making us also rely on supply chain rumors and leaks that typically come a few months before launch. Whatever the case, we’ll have our eyes peeled for anything Apple Vision Pro.

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