Multitouch screens on smartphones and tablets are all the rage these days. But Microsoft is looking at bringing multitouch functionality to another tool: a digital pen.
The company has applied for a patent on a multitouch ePen that changes its function depending on how you hold it.
You’d still be able to use the pen to write or draw on a tablet screen, much the way you can with existing digital pens for Windows 8 (or Android) tablets. But according to a patent application uncovered by Patent Bolt, this new type of multitouch ePen would have touch sensors built into its case.
It would also have a gyroscope, compass, acceleration, and other sensors.
That means you could grip the pen like a normal pen or pencil for writing. But you could change your grip and use it like an eraser or a razor blade in drawing programs. The patent application even shows one drawing of a hand holding the pen like a flute to make music.
There’s no word on if or when we’ll ever actually see a pen with these features.