Patent hints at Find My support for Apple Pencil using an acoustic resonator
Have you ever misplaced your Apple Pencil and wished there was an easy way to locate it? Well, a future version of the stylus pen could support Apple's Find My app.
Patently Apple spotted an application on the website of the US Patent & Trademark Office that explains how Apple could implement an acoustic resonator in the Pencil, instead of using an ultrawide band chip that it uses for AirTags.
Apple Pencil could support the Find My app
What is an acoustic resonator? Resonant frequency is the maximum frequency at which an object can vibrate. The word acoustics should ring a bell, it is a common term used to refer to sound, for example the audio output from a speaker. But an acoustic resontor may not necessarily be a speaker. The patent filed by the Cupertino company indicates that it could equip the Apple Pencil with an accoustic resonator at the other end of the stylus, i.e. the one that is opposite to the tip. It is possible that the resonator could include other portions of the stylus' housing to make it work.
An electronic device such as an iPhone could be used to connect to the Apple Pencil and send a location request to it, this will in turn cause the integrated acoustic resonator in the stylus to produce some vibrating noise that the user will be able to hear to track it down. Of course, this seems to suggest that the user will have to be in proximity of the Apple Pencil to locate it, so if you forget it at some place and move further away, this will not work as intended.
A diagram in the patent filing outlines how the Apple Pencil could be designed to accomodate the acoustic resonator. The acoustic resonator could be formed at the cap portion of the Apple Pencil, and the cap itself may have some ventilation holes for changes in the air pressure that may generate under the housing. The outer housing of the pen could be thinned down to an engineering thickness to allow the device to resonate at a particular frequency.
As 9to5Mac reports, the acoustic resonator method does seem a little crude, but it might be an efficient way to include the functionality without taking up space, adding some extra bulk, or an increase to the cost of the device. Have you heard the AirTag chime that plays when you use the Find My feature? It's not too loud, but it's quite helpful to locate the device, so I am a little bit surprised that Apple didn't opt to do the same with the Pencil.
Apple Pencil is one of the devices made by Apple that does not support the Find My feature, another notable example that lacks it would be the Apple Remote. Both devices are prone to getting lost. So a way to quickly track down the Apple Pencil would be welcomed by many users, after all the input device does costs over $100, and nobody likes to lose that.