InPlay Technologies, developer of human interface devices for computing and communication products, introduced its latest endeavor – WriteSense digital pen technology – in a press release earlier today.
The patent-pending technology couples active RF pen input with capacitive touch systems (an iPhone’s screen, for example) thereby:
eliminat[ing] the need for a separate electromagnetic digitizer by communicating directly with the capacitive touch sensor, resulting in a smaller three-dimensional form factor and a cost effective solution.
Currently, most capacitive touchscreens have little-to-no support for use with a stylus or fingernail. InPlay’s WriteSense pen looks to solve this problem by allowing manufacturers to:
…integrate WriteSense into the existing capacitive touch architecture already being adopted for mobile devices. The active digital pen enables the precision, accuracy and speed of pen input, and the ability for advanced features based on InPlay’s unique digital architecture. Unlike most pen input systems that utilize analog communication, InPlay technology uses digital stream communication bringing stronger performance and enhanced feature capability.
Don’t have any idea what the hell “digital stream communication” might be? Don’t worry, neither do we. As long as it works and doesn’t melt our iDevices, no reason to get too worked up by the marketing fodder lingo. Furthermore, as an iPod touch user, I’ve never once wished I could use a stylus as an input device.
On the other hand, this sort of technology would be useful in a tablet PC/UMPC/MID or any other capacitive device that is intended for use with handwriting programs or other applications requiring more accuracy. The company says that WriteSense will be commercially available in mid 2009.