A newly awarded Apple patent describes a pen that acts as a portable, wireless computer.
Granted to Apple today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a patent known simply as "portable computers" speaks of a pen computer with a built-in screen that can display e-mails, text message, and voice data. The device, which would be equipped with cellular and/or GPS technology to allow wireless communication, also would act as an advanced digital pen. The patent explains that the pen would include accelerometers to recognize handwriting and facilitate both speech-to-text and text-to-speech conversion.
Along with a cellular transceiver and GPS receiver, the pen computer would be equipped with a microphone and speaker, a touchscreen, and a rechargeable battery. In some areas, the patent describes the pen-shaped device as a portable computer, and in other areas, a cellular telephone:
A cellular telephone comprising: a case, the case sized and shaped to be held in one hand resting between the root of the thumb and index finger of the hand; the case being non-hinged and the case housing: a microphone and a speaker; a display, the display resting in the dorsal area at the back of the hand when the case rests between the root of the thumb and index finger of the hand and a user's wrist; a touchscreen; a rechargeable battery; a cellular transceiver, said cellular transceiver configured to wirelessly send and receive text messages, email, and voice data; a data entry input device configured for data input to the cellular telephone; a GPS receiver that outputs the telephone location; and, a processor that accepts input from the data entry input device and the telephone location and location stamps the input with the telephone location.
Initially filed in 1998, the patent was first granted in September 2011. But it was again examined and approved by the USPTO after Apple added the descriptions about the wireless and cellular features.