While there has been lots of buzz over a potential Apple smartwatch, a new patent shows the company is also thinking about other kinds of portable computers. It reveals a computer embedded within a standard pen, which has a small LCD screen for displaying emails, texts, alerts, etc. The abstract notes:
A portable computer arranged to rest comfortably in the hand has a small display screen. Accelerometers capable of detecting movement of the pen with respect to gravity provide input to a microcontroller which selects a response from a number of viewing modes. The pen may be held in either hand and the output message to the screen will be oriented according to the location of the pen. Full personal digital assistance functionality may be incorporated in a relatively small plastics casing and functions, such as calendar, contacts the like may be incorporated.
CNET reports that the device would be equipped with cellular and/or GPS technology for wireless communication, along with a microphone, speaker, and rechargeable battery.
Along with other functions such as a calculator and clock, the device could also be used as a PDA or portable word processor, with handwriting recognition and voice input. The handwriting recognition wouldn’t require the user to write on a surface, instead they could simply move it around as if writing letters and numbers in mid-air.