Apple's stylus technology that fits a blogger's vision of iPad pen input

The blogger CultOfMac just wrote this article outlining his philosophy and vision of stylus input for iPads.  The article makes an excellent argument that (a) people should stop associating pen input with Microsoft's pen-based tablet PC system, (b) pen input would be very useful on an iPad, and (c) there are emerging iPad styluses that augment, rather than replace, standard touch input.

We at Grizzly Analytics are amazed at how this clear vision matches a new stylus technology that Apple is developing, that we reported in February 2011.

Of course, people don't believe that Apple is working on stylus technology, since Steve Jobs diss'ed stylus input in his famous iPhone speech in 2007.  But he wasn't against wasn't using a stylus when it was helpful, he was against being forced to use a stylus.  The stylus technology at that time also required using resistive touchscreens, which have problems with accidental touches and give reduced screen quality compared to the capacitive touchscreens that Apple (and now the rest of the world) favors.

But since 2006 Apple's been quietly researching a new kind of stylus technology.  This new technology enables a capacitive touchscreen to be used very precisely with an LED or laser based stylus.  This gives several advantages over previous stylus technology: (1) It's very precise.  (2) The sensor for the stylus goes under the screen itself, not over the screen, so it doesn't add glare or hurt screen contrast. (3) It works with capacitive touchscreens.

The stylus that Apple has in mind uses LED light and optical fiber to give very precise and focused input to the light sensors under the touchscreen.  This will enable very precise handwriting or drawing input.

Many cynics tell us that they can't believe that Apple's going to re-introduce a stylus. To you we say, read CultOfMac's article, check out the 3rd-party stylus products that are coming out for the iPad, and consider new tablets like the HTC Flyer.  Lastly, consider Apple's amazing ability to surprise us.  Let's see if a new stylus technology is next up in their bag of tricks....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much! It's been a few months since you posted this, but I only learned about it through your blog. As an Ipad user I had this issue in mind for a few weeks now. Keep up.