Apple recently received a patent dubbed “Incorporating chromatic sensors in computer mice,” an invention for a mouse that’s capable of performing on various surfaces and scanning images. The patent was discovered by Apple Insider, which walked through some of the technology Apple imagines might be useful in the computer peripheral.

First, as described by the news outlet, the mouse includes a chromatic sensor, LED lights and lasers that might be used to better help it perform in various environments. Most optical mice today work pretty well on different surfaces, but when the first batch introduced years ago used to have trouble on more reflective desktops and mousepads. The patent was filed back in 2009, so it’s possible Apple was planning a workaround that has since already been fixed, but there’s more to the patent.

Apple’s mouse patent also describes the ability to scan images, and the peripheral has a display on the backside that could potentially be used for viewing the image as you scan it into the system. “During operation of the mouse 500, the user may move the mouse 500 across an image on the surface 105. As the mouse 500 moves across the image, a strip of the image may be captured by the combination of the light sources 600 and chromatic sensors 605 taking repetitive snapshots of the image as the mouse 500 moves,” the patent says. “In this manner, the mouse 500 may operate like a strip scanner and allow the image on the surface 105 to be captured in strips. The microprocessor 615 would then combine or stitch these strips together to render the image.”

AppleInsider suggests that there are already better laser-based options on the market today and that it’s unlikely we’ll ever see such a device come to fruition from Cupertino. That makes sense, too, particularly since it’s quicker and easier to use smartphones and other devices to “scan” objects now.

Hit the source for more information on Apple’s patent.,