Microsoft is considering building a stylus that would work on any device, including screens that aren't touch-sensitive. Company researchers have come up with a design, but they're waiting to hear whether to turn it into a product, MIT's Technology Review reported.
Right now, the most accurate stylus-controlled devices have extra sensors in the screen to detect where the stylus is. The new Microsoft design has to figure out its location without feedback from the screen.
Researchers Andreas Nowatzyk and Anoop Gupta decided to use the grid of pixels on-screen to navigate their stylus. The tool has a small camera to "see" the pixels on display and counts off pixels as it moves. Technology Review has more details on other tricks the stylus uses to find itself in a sea of pixels.
The stylus then communicates its location to the device through a wireless signal, much in the same way wireless mice communicate with computers.
Are styluses making a comeback now? Palm Pilots and other earlier touch-screen mobile devices used them, but they then disappeared as smartphones gained popularity. Now, however, iPad styluses as popular, the Samsung Galaxy Note comes with a stylus and Microsoft's planned Surface tablet would use a stylus, Technology Review noted.
Source: Technology Review