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New Apple Pencil patent would let you pull color from the real world

It can also transfer real-world textures.

Blurred apple pencil 3 overlaid on a selection of ipads
Image: KnowTechie

A newly filed patent suggests that Apple could be working on an Apple Pencil that lets users copy real-world colors on their iPads.

The patent, discovered by PatentlyApple, covers a device with color sensors built in. The sensors would be used to sample a real-world surface and translate it digitally to an iPad.

In addition to being able to sample colors, the patent claims the device would also be able to detect real-world textures.

It uses a built-in light sensor, light emitter, and light detector to make it work. Combining those sensors, it can detect both color and texture of a surface.

Apple pencil color patent
Image: Patently Apple

Of course, patent filings like this don’t mean that Apple plans to add this feature or release a new product. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this kind of Apple Pencil in the near future.

There are similar products on the market already. Scribble is a pen and stylus that can detect real-world color and translate it digitally or physically using a smart paint mixer.

Then there’s Mozbii, a stylus designed for kids to capture real-world colors to use in art on a smartphone or tablet.

The recent patent from Apple suggests that the company could bring that technology to more consumers, thanks to Apple’s massive ecosystem.

Keep an eye out for a new Apple Pencil that lets you snag colors and textures from real-world items. This could be the next major upgrade in the company’s digital pencil.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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