Pressure sensitive styli popping up all over the place

Half a year ago there were no pressure sensitive styli. Today, the market is frankly more than saturated with upcoming products. It started with the jaja Kickstarter project, which communicates with the tablet via sound waves. It reached its funding goal several times over, and the world was about to get a more sensitive place. In January Jot showed off the Jot Touch, which uses Bluetooth to accomplish the same thing. Then there’s the Ten One Design project Blue Tiger and finally the PressurePen Kickstarter project. All of these have popped up within such a short time that either they’re copying stuff very fast, or it’s a coincidence that they all reached the final stage of development at the same time.

This is not good for the stylus wielding world. The thing about these products is that they all have to have support programmed into apps to work, which means that each product manufacturer has to coordinate with app developers. When you take a nice handful of different styli that all want to be supported, and throw in some other products like the iPen that would like it too, fragmentation is almost inevitable – after all, these developers have todo lists of their own and can’t spend all their time implementing support for one stylus after the other.. We’re bound to end up with apps that supports one or a few of these products, but not the rest, and then it just all turns into a mess.

Hopefully I’m wrong and we’ll see support for all of these in key apps as they get released. No matter what though, having pressure sensitive styli at all is going to be nice upgrade on many tablets, including the iPad, regardless of fragmentation. Right now we don’t have anything like it anyways, is basically my point. Even with these products though you can’t replace a built in digitizer, something that is becoming increasingly common on Android. With the iPad 3 not having anything like it the earliest we’ll see a pen built into the iPad is in a year, and I doubt it will happen at all, so these pens should be relevant accessories for a while longer.

 

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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.