Imagine being able to pick a colour from the environment you're in and use it immediately in your digital art or design. Feels like it's confined to your wildest designer dreams, right? Well, according to a recent patent filed by Apple, it could be closer to a reality than you might think.
According to the patent filed last week, entitled 'Computer System With Color Sampling Stylus', the potential new technology concerns the Apple Pencil. The patent describes a computer stylus with a colour sensor, which has the ability to 'read' a colour when pressed against an object. The software would then put the colour into a colour palette in a drawing app, where it could be assigned to a brush and used in the art or design process. An app with this capability would certainly make it into our best iPad apps for Apple Pencil list. Mislaid your stylus? See our post on how to avoid losing the Apple Pencil.
With similar results as a real-life Photoshop colour-picker, the stylus would contain optical sensors and small lights to accurately lift the colour from any surface, which is technology that's already being used elsewhere , making the whole thing seem totally achievable (we assume).
Apple sees a vast range of uses beyond art and design for the technology, citing identifying paint colours, printer and display calibration (for more calibration tools see our buying guide), as well as applications in health, beauty and even food.
Though Pantone recently released their Colour Match Card app, it seems that Apple's technology would go beyond matching the colour to an existing palette by actually adding new colours to a colour palette, meaning the entire spectrum of the world's colour would be at your fingertips. And the ability immediately create art using that colour is an exciting prospect.
Of course, Apple files a lot of patents that rarely see the light of day, and this one has so far been on Apple's radar since 2014 with no outcome, but our fingers are crossed that this idea comes to fruition.
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