Next Apple Pencil could receive a game-changing upgrade

Drawing in a different reality

Apple Pencil
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple could be about to change the way you can use the Apple Vision Pro. Talk is that it is currently testing an Apple Pencil that works with the headset. 

What do all pens and even styluses like the Apple Pencil need to work? Something to write on. Whether that's a notepad or one of the best tablets, they all need a physical surface to interact with. Well, that might be about to change. 

Apple is reportedly working on a new generation of the Apple Pencil that is compatible with the Apple Vision Pro headset. But riddle me this, if you're not actually writing/drawing on anything, is it even a pencil?

Ok, semantics aside, this could be a fascinating development. According to a source at MacRumors Apple is testing a VisionOS-compatible Apple Pencil. This would line up with a patent spotted earlier this month for a similar pencil-shaped controller that would stick to the side of the headset, much like the pencil does to an iPad. I was excited by the extra gaming precision of that controller, but it's more likely to be used like the standard Apple Pencil. 

Apple Vision Pro controller patent

(Image credit: Apple/US Patent Office)

The uses for this are interesting, the Apple Vision Pro already has impressive hand tracking but a pencil is obviously more precise. Apple is keen to push the Vision Pro as a work productivity champion. For designers and illustrators the reason to use a pencil is obvious but for most of us, what would the improvement be? The ability to write notes down on a virtual pad would definitely be handy but it's hardly a game changer. I'm sure there are a bunch of use cases that will only be clear when we get hands-on (and the Vision Pro still isn't available outside the US!). 

When could we see the release of such an accessory? Well, nothing is official but there's a common belief that new iPads will be released in April so it would make sense to bring out a possible add-on then. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.