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A DIY Stylus for Capacitive Screens

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Collin Cunningham shows how to create a DIY stylus for those capacitive touch screen devices we all know and love. It looks pretty simple if you’ve got some conductive foam at your disposal.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

2 Comments

  1. Mickey Segal

    05/05/2010 at 2:13 pm

    Nice proof of concept, but a custom built version with a more durable small tip and a conductive barrel with no exposed wires would be better.

    Since Apple has announced opposition to pens, having pen attachment sites would be a good way for other tablets to offer an advantage. Pens do wonders for the screen size to pen width ratio, and people are better at fine gestures with a pen than they are with a finger.

    The pen is mightier than the finger (except for multitouch, where numbers count).

  2. Nameless

    05/05/2010 at 6:28 pm

    If Apple’s so opposed to the pen/stylus, how come they use them to take signatures at Apple Stores when someone makes a purchase?

    Anyway, this is an interesting approach to a DIY capacitive stylus. I didn’t think of making one like that since I thought I had no conductive foam, but now that I think about it, I might have some.

    Instead, what I did was take a long, torn strip of anti-static bag material, and taped it onto a marker with a felt chisel tip that was all dried out. Trimmed the tip a bit, and it worked fairly well on the iPad, though I got a bit of a rude awakening when it didn’t work on certain Android smartphones.

    (Doesn’t do a thing about the complete lack of palm rejection, though. I wonder what insulating gloves people get and just cut off the thumb, index finger, and middle finger for explicitly that purpose.)

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