Microsoft has produced the prototype of a new stylus that may be used to input even on non-touch screens. The groundbreaking technology is said to rely on a mounted camera that can be used to track both movement and angle across a screen. The latest Microsoft blueprint has the camera looking out of the side of the stylus body off-center, so it views the display at an angle. That lets it deduce the angle it is being held at due to how different pixels are in and out of focus.
The device debuted in MIT’s Technology review and has already been proclaimed revolutionary although there are no plans of bringing it to production in the near future. Microsoft is currently contemplating whether to push forth its development with the aim of creating a marketable product. The biggest challenge with their stylus is to make it track pressure sensitivity on multiple screens without damaging them.
The biggest advantage of the device would be that it can work on any screen. Microsoft is currently looking to expand market share for its Windows 8 operating system for PC’s as well as touch screen tablets like its latest offering, Surface. Numerous desktop and laptop users have criticized that certain features of the OS are tricky to use by means of mouse and keyboard. A stylus planned to work on any laptop or desktop LCD monitor could help lessen such protests.
A spokesperson for Microsoft said that, “Microsoft Research is working on projects that include making our interactions with technology more natural; part of that focus includes multiple input methods.”
Although styluses are existing that work with any touch-screen device, such as an iPad or iPhone, they are fairly imprecise. Accurate stylus support necessitates an extra layer of sensors built into a device’s display, this can add costs. If this new Microsoft stylus model were to become widely available, it would permit accurate stylus use on any screen, even the ones that aren’t touch-sensitive.
The novelty Microsoft stylus is still only a prototype. The stylus needs to make a note of the standard brightness of around five groups of four pixels to learn precisely where it is. It then constantly reports this information back to the computer, which updates its screen and reacts fittingly. It has also been known to match images of a Windows desktop with and without that alteration of blue pixels shows that it isn’t perceptible. The software considered necessary to adjust a device’s blue pixels to include the location signal could be sold together with its driver.