Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch has penned an interesting article entitled In Defense of the Stylus. It’s a nice history lesson in this age where the stylus is constantly derided, and worth a read for that point. I happen to agree with his conclusion. A stylus, like the wheel and the wedge is something that has been around for some time, been constantly reinvented and isn’t going anywhere. But currently technology is holding us back a bit with the stylus and when technology catches up to it can become really useful in the digital age as opposed to being something that is a target of derision.
The post is also worth taking a look at because it mentions a new active stylus by Atmel, a maker of touch screens, and the approach that company is taking to make a stylus. Long time Tablet PC owners will see this as pretty familiar territory, but it is worth a look-see.
Here’s a description from the Atmel site:
A single indium tin oxide (ITO) sensor interfaces with the maXTouch controller to detect finger touches and stylus proximity, simplifying the hardware for your application and lowering system costs. Through the system driver, the system host controller interfaces with the maXTouch chipset for touch and stylus data.
Atmel’s solution is a marriage of technology between the screen and the pen which they called the MaXStylus, that allows simultaneous touch and stylus input that work together in concert.