Skip to main content

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....

Popular posts from this blog

Intel demos indoor location technology in new Wi-Fi chips at MWC 2015

Intel made several announcements at MWC 2015, including a new chipset for wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi) in mobile devices. This new chipset, the 8270, include in-chip support for indoor location positioning. Below we explain their technology and show a video of it in action. With this announcement, Intel joins Broadcom, Qualcomm and other chip makers in moving broad indoor location positioning into mobile device hardware.

The transition of indoor location positioning into chips is a trend identified in the newest Grizzly Analytics report on Indoor Location Positioning Technologies, released the week before MWC 2015. By moving indoor location positioning from software into hardware, chips such as Intel's enable location positioning to run continuously and universally, without using device CPU, and with less power consumption.

Intel's technology delivers 1-3 meter accuracy, using a technique called multilateration, generating a new location estimate every second. While 1-3 meter …

Seeing Quuppa's indoor location technology at MWC 2015

I first met Fabio and Kimmo from Quuppa in 2012, before Quuppa existed, when they had spent years researching indoor location positioning technologies at Nokia Research Center. Less than a year after that they formed Quuppa, independent of Nokia, to bring their technology to market. At the time I called Quuppa "the newest and oldest in indoor location positioning."

Fast forward two and a half years. Their technology has reached market, it can now track both smartphones and BLE devices, and it's accurate to within 20-50cm. Before reading more about their technology, take a look at a video of their demo in action:



Grizzly Analytics has analyzed indoor location technologies by over 150 companies, and virtually all of the radio-based technologies operate by measuring the distance between the device being tracked and other radio devices, and using these distance measurements for either multilateration or fingerprinting. For example, the well known BLE beacons measure a device…

33 Indoor Location Technologies at Mobile World Congress 2017

The number of companies exhibiting indoor location technologies at the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) skyrocketed to 33!

Before MWC started, we released our Guide to Indoor Location at MWC, with 23 companies:


During the conference we notified our guide recipients of 10 other indoor location exhibitors that we saw. (Sign up here to receive our guide and to be on our mailing list for next year's MWC.)

This is many more indoor location related exhibits that previous years. The area is growing by leaps and bounds! Our recent report on indoor location technologies analyzed and profiled almost 200 companies!

Here are some videos, so you can see the technologies in action, followed by a list of the other indoor location companies that were at MWC.

First up is Philips Lighting, with high-accuracy indoor location positioning based on LED light modulation and visible light communication (VLC) technology:




Next comes Estimote, makers of Bluetooth (BLE) beacons, who introduced self-mapping b…