The awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,922,530 (via Apple Insider) describes a 'communicating stylus' that can write on variety of surfaces, including paper, whiteboards, capacitive touchscreens and more, courtesy its interchangeable nibs.
The patent for the Apple 'communicating stylus' also describes the ability to capture handwriting of the user very precisely, because of its onboard 3D motion sensors which can detect the movement in the air, on tablet or at a wall.
Apart from 3D motion sensors, the Apple stylus uses wireless communication hardware and onboard storage to transfer handwritten notes and drawings onto the display of a digital device.
The USPTO patent abstract for Apple's 'Communicating stylus' reads, "A stylus for writing on any type of surface, such as piece of paper or a whiteboard and subsequently displaying the written images or text in display of digital computing device. The stylus may likewise be moved in three-dimensional space and corresponding images displayed on a display of a computing device. The stylus tracks its different positions while a user is writing or drawing and then either stores the data to be uploaded later or transmits the data simultaneously to a computing device. The computing device then displays the images and text drawn on the surface. The computing device may be located anywhere, as long as it is able to communicate with the stylus, and be able to display the written text or images."Notably, the Apple's stylus patent was filed in January 2010. Now, that it has been granted by the USPTO five years later, the rumours of an upcoming 12-inch iPad with a stylus will certainly takeover.