Apple gets a lot of patents awarded, and while many will never see real use, a recent award may be one that hits the shelves.
Patent #9,400,570 describes new functions for the Apple Pencil. The pencil first appeared for the iPad Pro with technology to make writing and drawing on the glass touchscreen more like working with pencil and paper.
The new patent shows those features to be augmented, enabling the Pencil to work without touching the touchscreen, so it could work with iPads and Macs.
The new technology will enable using the Pencil as a joystick and controller for manipulating objects on the screen. This would make the Apple Pencil particularly useful for modeling.