Kickstarter spotlight: jaja pressure sensitive stylus

One of the features I’ve been wanting on tablets for ages is pressure sensitivity. It’s possible with existing hardware, but apps can’t read (as in, don’t have the permission to read) the screen in the way they need to make it work. A new project on Kickstarter aims to fix that by adding pressure sensitivity to an ordinary capacitive stylus without the need for any sort of dongle or other complicated solution. How does it work? Well, it’s quite brilliant to be honest: it uses sound. The stylus basically communicates wirelessly with supported apps by sending high frequency audio to the microphone. Humans can’t hear it (hopefully not dogs either), but the microphone in your device can. Think of it as supercharged morse code, it’s likely as simple as increased audio pulse frequency meaning higher pressure.

This project is an example of both ingenious thinking and how easy it can be to add advanced functionality to a device without having it built in. The jaja also has two buttons, which can be set to do various things in an app, like open a color menu or change between pen and eraser. The main feature can also potentially be used for other things, like palm rejection by making the app ignore all input that doesn’t sync up with when the pen notifies the app of touching the screen.

If you want to help the jaja succeed and make sure you get one when it’s ready to ship, there is a $40 limited reward (currently 300 remaining) with the next tier being $45 if you miss out on that. Retail price will be $69, which while more expensive than other capacitive styli is certainly worth it with all those extra features. Just to be clear, this also works as a capacitive stylus in apps that don’t support the “sound enhancements”. Hit the jump for the video.

[Kickstarter]

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.