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New Touchscreen Technology Like Writing On Paper

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the harder-better-faster dept.

123

An anonymous reader writes "A company claims it has the technology to make writing on touchscreens more like writing with pencil and paper, when the harder you press the thicker the line you produce. The technology uses a material called Quantum Tunneling Composite (QTC), the resistance of which is extremely sensitive to pressure, unlike today's touchscreen phones, which might be fine for basic finger-pointing, but they are poor at gauging the pressure of the touch. The hope is that this will be useful in Asia for handwriting recognition, because Asian scripts use a lot of variation in line thickness. Interestingly, screens with a standard 2D touch matrix can get the extra measure of control using a narrow strip of QTC down the side."

cancel ×

123 comments

Three words (3, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955324)

Etch A Sketch.

Two Words (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955600)

No pen.

Re:Two Words (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955762)

Time to join the 21st century:

https://www.world-of-toys.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=50740 [world-of-toys.com]

Re:Two Words (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956482)

Touchscreen LCD + Windows Driver + Netbook innards + soldering iron = myPad

Re:Two Words (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30957526)

I'm not sure I would want to use a soldering iron as a pen...

Re:Three words (1)

ELitwin (1631305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955642)

I didn't know an Etch A Sketch was a touchscreen device, much less pressure sensitive. I would like to buy yours.

Re:Three words (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955658)

After seeing the pictures on their website http://www.peratech.com/qtcscience.php [peratech.com] (the ones at the bottom), this technology looks a whole lot less friendly than an etch-a-sketch.

Sure, I know these are tiny particles, but if most consumers see a giant spiky ball shooting lightning I think they might be a bit weary of this new technology.

Re:Three words (4, Funny)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955844)

Yeah, but you get to replace a cheap, safe and well tested technology with a very expensive new one, which fills the same need using a substance that is, potentially, as harmful to your health as asbestos. Cool, isn't it?

It always amuses me when... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955338)

I'm in line at a store and I see someone ahead of me jamming the stylus frantically into the signature pad, as if pressing harder will somehow make the pad sense the stylus better. The pad is broken precisely because dimwits keep stabbing it so hard!

Or (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955340)

AZNs could write in English

Re:Or (5, Interesting)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955618)

Oh wow, you are trolling, yet opening a very interesting subject. I'm in!

Chinese characters do not unambiguously indicate their pronunciation, even for any single dialect. It is therefore useful to be able to transliterate a dialect of Chinese into the Latin alphabet, for those who cannot read Chinese characters. However, transliteration was not always considered merely a way to record the sounds of any particular dialect of Chinese; it was once also considered a potential replacement for the Chinese characters. This was first prominently proposed during the May Fourth Movement, and it gained further support with the victory of the Communists in 1949. Immediately afterward, the mainland government began two parallel programs relating to written Chinese. One was the development of an alphabetic script for Mandarin, which was spoken by about two-thirds of the Chinese population; the other was the simplification of the traditional characters—a process that would eventually lead to simplified Chinese. The latter was not viewed as an impediment to the former; rather, it would ease the transition toward the exclusive use of an alphabetic (or at least phonetic) script.

By 1958, however, priority was given officially to simplified Chinese; a phonetic script, hanyu pinyin, had been developed, but its deployment to the exclusion of simplified characters was pushed off to some distant future date. The association between pinyin and Mandarin, as opposed to other dialects, may have contributed to this deferment. It seems unlikely that pinyin will supplant Chinese characters anytime soon as the sole means of representing Chinese.

So, they once wanted to modernize everything and emulate the westerners, but now they want to protect their own identity and culture. Their way of writing is not worse or better, it is simply different and based on other principles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_written_language

Re:Or (5, Funny)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956166)

That reply was awesome. Thanks. Related:

http://xkcd.com/406/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Or (5, Interesting)

jfjfjdk (1260722) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956416)

Their [ideogrammatic] way of writing is not worse or better, it is simply different and based on other principles.

This is unambiguously false when measured by utility. Ideogrammatic scripts take longer to learn, are slower to read and write, and mostly convey no information on pronunciation. There are numerous studies (child development, comprehension timing, etc) if you're curious about this topic. Why they persist is an interesting historical question, but there were several strong movements to eliminate them for both Chinese and Japanese in the 1860-1960 period.

Re:Or (3, Informative)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956674)

All right. Fair comment. A phonetic system is definitely much quicker and brings a higher level of literacy sooner than an ideogrammatic system.

However, the Chinese speak three mutually unintelligible languages--Cantonese, Mandarin, and Manchu--but they all use the same characters. In addition, there are numerous minority languages in China that have adopted the characters. Enabling everyone to be able to communicate with each other through the written language is no small feat.

With a phonetic system, they would have a lot of difficulties communicating between themselves. Maybe once mandarin is used unequivocally by all of their people, they'll be able to adopt hanyu pinyin.

For now, they are a challenge to learn and a beauty to behold.

Re:Or (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30957144)

Just in case I wasn't that clear. The ideogrammatic system might say, for example, that &?& = Dog. So, independently of the language you speak in China, &?& means dog. With a phonetic system you would have three different words and nobody would understand each other.

Re:Or (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958724)

And then there's written English, a non-ideogrammatic "phonetic" script that in reality conveys little/no information on pronunciation. Wherein lies the utility of that?

Re:Or (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959114)

The so-called "ideogrammatic scripts" (not really true of Chinese) can express phrases that would be difficult/impossible to understand when spoken, because characters are less ambiguous than homophones, which Chinese has a lot of. That doesn't seem "unambiguously false".

An extreme example is the Chinese poem (Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den) that starts out "shi2 shi4 shi1 shi4 shi1 shi4 shi4 shi1" and continues in a similar manner. It's impossible to speak but quite possible to read.

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959202)

Oops, I meant to say "ideogrammic", and also that the numbers represent the tones of the syllables: 2=rising, 4=falling, 1=level, for those who don't know.

ScuttleMonkey (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955404)

Hey, back in the days, I forget about when, the monkey took a lot of flak for posting certain types of stories.

Anyways, for what it's worth, I find the monkey's story selection has been consistently good - interesting and relevant "news for nerd" - unlike those by a certain other picker who will remain nameless (starts with "sam").

And the award for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955928)

...Slashdot's most trollish editor, goes to:

KDAWSON

Hands down. Seems like 75% of the crap stories I get suckered to by a biased headline are posted by kdawson. No doubt he gets you the pageviews, but.. its still annoying.)

Re:ScuttleMonkey (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956442)

but Kdawson doesn't start with 'sam'

KDawson isn't so bad, he's edited a couple of my submissions well, but lets not allow that to get in the way of a good old slagging-off session :)

sketching (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955406)

I was just having a cigarette today and a bunch of our graphic designers where talking about how they would immediately buy an ipad if it had a screen like this, but as is they where skipping.

Re:sketching (2, Funny)

ELitwin (1631305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955536)

Do the non-smoking graphic designers have a different preference?

Re:sketching (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955696)

Do you want me to hook you up with them to ask?

Re:sketching (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955664)

any capacitative screen already has pretty good touch sensitivity. try running a rooted android phone and it has a tool that analyzes the amount of pressure as well as speed of movements, etc. It seems quite accurate and does what this tocuhscreen tech is advertising.

Re:sketching (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956354)

I think that this wouldn't be possible if you were using a capacitive stylus with a narrow tip. The reason is that the screen is not actually measuring pressure, but relies on the fact that fingers are 'squishy' and when you press harder more contact is being made and therefore either the output value or the number of pixels goes up.

There's a stylus that Ars reviewed a week or two that claimed to make the touchpad on a laptop work like a pressure-sensitive wacom, and it relied on having a large tip that was similarly 'squishy'. However, this also meant it had a big, imprecise tip that could never be as good as a true pressure sensitive system -- useful but no substitute.

Re:sketching (1)

mopower70 (250015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956190)

As a toy or as a tool? Because it would fail miserably as the latter. And any serious designer who thinks otherwise... isn't.

Re:sketching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30957152)

As a toy or as a tool? Because it would fail miserably as the latter. And any serious designer who thinks otherwise... isn't.

The Cintiq disagrees with you.

Like writing on paper? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955408)

You mean, something I won't be able to do legibly?

Re:Like writing on paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955496)

With pressure counting it ought to be more legible that trying to write free hand on a current touch screen.

Re:Like writing on paper? (1)

armyofone (594988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955660)

I believe his point is that his handwriting, (w/pen & paper) is already not legible. So using this tech won't help him.

Re:Like writing on paper? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955920)

Like eat up Martha?

Wacom tablet, anyone? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955442)

I seem to remember Wacom tablets having this kind of feature for a long long time... granted, the texture wasn't paper-like, but you could replace the 'nibs' or the ends to change the drag-feel of the stylus on the tablet. Best of all, no batteries for any of the devices - the tablet drove them with power provided as long as they were within a quarter of an inch of the surface. How is this revolutionary?

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955504)

Yeah I agree, I came here about to say this but apparently you beat me to the punch. I just think that it must be Wacom wasn't a cool enough name for Slashdot's frontpage and had to have something with "Quantum" in the name to justify it being 'revolutionary'

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (3, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955538)

The main selling point of Wacom tablets is exactly this, the reason they can so much for the Cintiq is because it's about as close to drawing on real paper/canvas as you can get with a computer. And as you stated, you can replace the nibs to get a different feel.

IMO (as someone who's used Wacom tablets for ages and prefers them to regular mice) the only real downside to Wacom tablets is that they take up a bit of space and are expensive but once you get used to using the stylus or the tablet mice (up with those is "up" on the tablet, not "forward" on the mouse) you'll have serious issues with regular mice.

/Mikael

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955584)

"...they can charge so much for the Cintiq...", somehow I missed a word when typing.

strangely enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30957906)

i read it the first time even though it isnt there :)

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956358)

Agree. I bought a Wacom tablet as an extra for one of my machines, and liked it so much that I bought another, and use them as the primary controller for both the PCs at my workdesk. It is nice to be able to hold a pen or mouse in your hand, and move back and forth between machines using the same controller.

Another feature that some Wacom tablets offer is that they can detect 'lean'... if you hold your pen at an angle while drawing, it can respond with a different amount of spread or line thickness.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956476)

Exactly. Nowadays they even offer to detect the *angle* of the pen! (E.g. for airbrushing.)

A friend of mine bought the big Cintiq for working with ZBrush, and according to him it’s just plain insane. The price is too (2000€), but he said it’s worth it, as it just beats paper or anything else out of the water.
(No, neither he is nor I am a marketing guy in disguise. ^^ We really feel like that.)

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30956518)

Agreed, Wacom already has pressure sensitivity down cold. Polite disagreement: I didn't retire my mouse. Instead I put it on the left.

It's nice to use either hand for pointer, especially during key-combos. But there was a surprise benefit - it puts the mouse closer, not a reach across the numpad. You can actually mouse while leaving your upper arm in the ergonomically best position. Takes about a week to bring the left up to full speed. Use both fingers on whichever button at first to ease transition, and really that's it. The only downside is it doesn't make you ambidextrous at all. I'm completely happy mousing through GIMP with the left, but away from the computer I'm back to right-handed.

(And the tablet mouse is /hideous/. Thanks for stating that at least someone actually uses those. I'd figured none.)

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956776)

(And the tablet mouse is /hideous/. Thanks for stating that at least someone actually uses those. I'd figured none.)

The tablet mice are mostly useful when coding or doing other keyboard-heavy input since you don't have to devote any attention to the orientation of the mouse since the orientation of the tablet relative to the keyboard tends to stay the same, at first it felt a bit weird for me but once I got used to it regular mice started to feel troublesome as I became aware of the "orientation phase" every time I'd reach for the mouse when using a regular mouse.

/Mikael

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30957266)

IMO (as someone who's used Wacom tablets for ages and prefers them to regular mice) the only real downside to Wacom tablets is that they take up a bit of space and are expensive but once you get used to using the stylus or the tablet mice (up with those is "up" on the tablet, not "forward" on the mouse) you'll have serious issues with regular mice.

Well it's like saying... I used to drive a Ferrari or a high end car and have trouble trying to drive an Hyundai.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (4, Informative)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955558)

http://www.wacom.com/bamboo/bamboo_pen_touch.php

You can get 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity for $99. The next product line up offers MORE pressure sensitivity and can detect pen tilt as well.

So, yeah, I'm not seeing the innovation here.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955626)

http://www.wacom.com/bamboo/bamboo_pen_touch.php

You can get 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity for $99. The next product line up offers MORE pressure sensitivity and can detect pen tilt as well.

So, yeah, I'm not seeing the innovation here.

The innovation is the way the pressure sensitivity is achieved. If I understand the article correctly, it's cheaper to manufacture than the alternatives.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30956366)

Is the Wacom clear with a screen behind it? Didn't read either article, but the OP says touchscreen, this says tablet...

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

Jearil (154455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30957382)

Yes: http://www.wacom.com/cintiq/cintiq-21ux.php [wacom.com]

They're a bit expensive, but wacom does have drawing screens with pressure sensitivity, and have for a while now.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30957524)

$2000 for the screen with a pen. $70 to replace a pen. Wacoms have existed for decades, but there's a reason why they're a niche product. Wacom corporation has absolutely no interest in becoming an indispensable mass market product and they make damn sure that won't happen by charging outrageous prices.

Pressure and tilt sensitive stylus tablets could be everywhere, already, but Wacom likes their fat margins. Their technology is really REALLY mature by now. They could have improved efficiency and yields and reduced their prices if they wanted to. They don't want to. If QTC can achieve a sensible price point, they may very well supplant Wacom in the coming years.

I'll take a Pixel Qi screen with a QTC interface for $100 please Alex.

(Not that I expect to see any such thing in less than 20 years, after patents start running out and Taiwanese manufacturers can do what they like.)

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

ninjackn (1424235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956572)

I didn't RTFA but I read the link in the article and it's really interesting. It's innovative because it's a pressure sensitive resistive technology. Not only can you get a location measurement from a touch you also get pressure. It's amazing because you can use anything physical to do it, push with your finger, your noise, your toe or a chop stick and it will still register. The iPhone screen or a wacom tablet can't do that.

In terms of feeling more "real", when you write on a piece of paper it's the paper that yields to the pressure. Anyone who writes really hard will see their words indented on the next few pages. When you write with a wacom table you see the tip moves further into the stylus, which when compared to a touch screen that will yield it seems less authentic.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955684)

Wacom pressure is in the pen. Here the pressure is in the screen, so it doesn't matter what is touching it. Unless I'm wrong.

Mod Anon Parent up... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956496)

...as that's exactly what people seem to be missing here. The Wacom drawing/writing tablets aren't pressure-sensitive in the surface, but in the pen. Huge difference - unless you want to graft the little Wacom pen nibs and internals onto your bones and protruding from your fingertips.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (2, Funny)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955698)

Because it's a touchscreen. Those aren't new in themselves, but this is apparently the first touch-sensitive one.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (2, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955894)

There seems to be a little confusion over Wacom's product ranges here, but the device most people are probably thinking of is the Cintiq [wacom.eu] , not one of their more conventional tablets like the Intuos range. They do everything this new screen does and more, as they support all of the pressure and tilt detection routines of the tablets, so the only things that might be novel about this new screen is nature of the QTC technology being used or the cost of its production. Hopefully, the latter; the Cintiqs are a dream to use for retouching, painting or other freehand work, but frighteningly expensive!

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955712)

The Wacom tablet is not a display device, just an input device. Having a similar level of pressure sensitivity as a Wacom tablet but on the actual display device would be a huge improvement.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956038)

The Wacom tablet is not a display device, just an input device. Having a similar level of pressure sensitivity as a Wacom tablet but on the actual display device would be a huge improvement.

What, like a Wacom Cintiq? [wacom.com]

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955728)

Presumably this doesn't require a stylus, though the article is very light on detail (other than that this is a disruptive game-changing 3D technology that will allow revolutionary improvements to phones).

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955870)

Somehow having the entire surface be pressure sensitive seems like a bad idea unless you want to start practicing hand acrobatics to avoid touching the surface of the device with your hand while drawing or writing.

/Mikael

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956250)

If the surface is multi-touch(for large values of multi), you can implement a frog-eye algorithm that ignores anything that hasn't moved in an interesting manner recently. Or ignore blobs that run off the edge.

For mouse-pointer emulation, just attach the cursor to the first blob that touches, keep track of other blobs that touch later and ignore them until you remove all blobs. Then start over again with the first blob. Maybe have some size/shape characteristics(eg nothing larger than a basketball players hand can get the pointer).

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958376)

That's a problem tablet enabled laptops have solved for a while now. Anytime the wacom pen gets within, I think its 2" of the screen, the touch overlay is disabled and only pen input is accepted until the pen is lifted. Simple solution, no? Why bother with algorithms.

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958618)

maybe because this does not use a pen?

Re:Wacom tablet, anyone? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959340)

The stylus reports pressure back to the tablet. You don't need a stylus with this new tech.

Asia != China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955448)

Not all Asian scripts are the same. Asia covers a very big area, from Saudi Arabia till Japan, and from Russia to India.

Thickening Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955482)

I don't understand why would ppl want computing applications in terms of thickness

Re:Thickening Issue (3, Funny)

lastomega7 (1060398) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955596)

To format your hard drive, push this button. To cancel, push that same button, but with exactly 1.2 pounds of force.

Re:Thickening Issue (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955794)

To format your hard drive, push this button. To cancel, push that same button, but with exactly 1.2 pounds of force.

I think that is a bad example (or a good joke) but pressure sensitivity in user interfaces has a lot of potential. Maybe you could push a file icon under the surface by giving it a hard push, like moving it to trash. Or maybe a hard press could activate a program while a gentle push could move it across the desktop. A hard push in a file name could initiate a rename.

Two words: (1, Interesting)

Cycon (11899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955554)

...iPad Pro.

The first iteration is geared around media consumption.

Perhaps a second line will integrate technologies like this for media creation.

Either way expect something like it running Adroid.

Obligatory mock of Apple users (0, Offtopic)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30957410)

How solipsistic are Apple users? They pay $99 a year for the privilege of having an e-mail address at me.com.

Zing! Pow!

Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955590)

What would we use it for, here?

Cursive writing programs are being eliminated from elementary school.
The quality of printing is also going downhill.
Everything here is being replaced by a keyboard (real and virtual).

Is this a technology that will see a major uptake only in a limited part of the world, amongst those who have trouble writing Pinyin(or similar)?

(But it would be great to have this sensitive enough to use a real brush to paint in digital ink.)

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955670)

You started with a question and finished with the answer. Pressure sensitivity is handy for lots of things, some of which have not even been invented.

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955938)

You started with a question and finished with the answer. Pressure sensitivity is handy for lots of things, some of which have not even been invented.

My question is whether this will find any widespread use here. The post focuses on writing in Asia. The article mentions pressure, but is it sensitive enough for a strand of hair(from a brush)?

I'm not in Asia and digital art is something that is cool, but a 'niche market' that I doubt this technology is aimed at. So will we see any devices deploying this tech here?

My saying that something would be cool to do is not an answer to my question of what we will see here.

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956394)

I wrote in a different thread that pressure sensitivity could be handy in touch based user interfaces. It could replace the context button on the mouse. Press a link on a web browser lightly to see the alt text. Press it heavily to activate the link. Press it very hard to open the link in a new tab or window. That kind of thing.

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955678)

What would we use it for, here?

Drawing?

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955736)

Did you ever see them writing in Star Trek?

Writing was for Admirals and Captains, not regular folks!

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955878)

Considering ball-point pens are generally not very pressure sensitive (at least not how people usually use them) I don't understand your point.

Even fountain pens, while pressure sensitive, break when you use them like this.

Perhaps if you were writing with a brush? But even in countries that had writing like that (eg: China) it isn't used for everyday writing anymore, and hasn't been for ages.

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956194)

How would this have any relevance to pinyin? Anyone who had trouble writing pinyin would also have trouble writing English.

Re:Is there any use for this in the western world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30956378)

As competition to Wacom's Cintiq, if it's less expensive to produce?

I'd love a Cintiq.
I can't rationalize a reason to spend 1/15th of what I make in a year on a new one.

The real issue. (2, Insightful)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955674)

The real issue with writing on a screen is that it slides so damn much. Give me some miracle surface that allows for some friction while still being easy enough to glide with fingers.

Re:The real issue. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955756)

The trick is to roughen the pen rather than the screen.

Like pencil on paper? (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955680)

So it still won't be any good if I want to write while sprawled out on the floor, or on the bed... the pencil always goes through the paper.

Re:Like pencil on paper? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955780)

Then next time leave the paper attached to the pad, or put a book behind it.

Re:Like pencil on paper? (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955980)

lol - good retort!

Finally, pressing the buttons harder make it work. (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30955732)

Although this might be very old news to secretaries and office workers.

Accelerometers already sense when the device is being thrown, now with the pressure sensitive touchpad, the device is finally fully luser-ready.

No multitouch = FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30955824)

I'm with Apple on this one.

what about wacom? (1)

nilbog (732352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956018)

How is this not like the wacom tablet I already have? It is very much pressure sensitive. Also, pencils do not produce significantly thicker lines when you apply more pressure. You can draw a faint line, a regular line, and break the graphite, but that's about it.

Re:what about wacom? (3, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958162)

> Also, pencils do not produce significantly thicker lines when you apply more
> pressure. You can draw a faint line, a regular line, and break the graphite,
> but that's about it.

Yes, but the marketing guy who wrote the blurb doesn't know that as he is only a twenty-something and so has never used a pencil.

With just a few more years of development...... (1)

Carbaholic (1327737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956118)

.....and a few million dollars in research funding we'll have a product that's almost as good as paper.

You guys aren't reading the (2nd) article. (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956124)

This is better than Wacom because you get all this extra sensitivity without the pen. It's easier to manufacture and something they didn't mention, which seems possible to me, is flexible touch displays in the future due to this screen type not needing an air gap to function. This is about so much more than writing.

Awesome! You know, if you press hard enough... (2, Funny)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956232)

... you can make a big ol' permanent dot.

Like writing with pencil and paper (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956328)

Hey this paper stuff sounds pretty good. I might have to go get me some and try it out.

Pressure sensitive not realistic (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956330)

...because pressing harder with a pen or a pencil doesn't produce thicker lines.

Re:Pressure sensitive not realistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30956658)

When was the last time you used a pencil?

Do me a favor. Grab one and a sheet of paper.
Don't care if it's mechanical or a classic #2, #1, HB, whatever. Pencil.

Make seven passes with that pencil on a sheet of paper, putting a little more pressure on the pencil with each pass until you either get to the seventh pass, or break the lead.
Take a look at that.
On one end, you should have a light, THIN line.
On the other end, you should have a THICK, heavy line.

Your statement is invalid.

Galaxar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30956480)

Unfortunately, Quantum Tunneling Composite requires massive amounts of Quantonium - which is mine - ALL MINE. mhua ha ha haaaa - cough. Galaxar out.

Just draw a "lazy eight".. (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30956618)

And support the Scifi channel.

That's not how handwriting works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30956820)

Does anybody really think that a pencil makes a thicker line if you push harder on it?

Asian ideograms and Western calligraphy achieve thin/thick lines by rotating a diagonal tipped writing instrument. Again, you don't ever find a situation where you're supposed to push harder.

So what's this new tech actually for? Is it related to porn somehow?

TouchScreens and Tablets (0)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30957054)

Both these devices seem to be coming of ages, they were off mentioned in sci-fi. I really think they may replace the keyboard and mouse for most applications soon. They doesn't seem to be a electric pencil or stylish to go with touchscreen yet, and that would make some sense, particular if you could use it as a cursor for a distance as well as up close, and it good have the equivalent of mouse buttons on it.

---

Tablet PCs [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Gimp + HP 2500 already does it... (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30957106)

Unless I'm missing something, I can already do that with the Gimp on my laptablet. Laptoblet? Tablaptoplet? Taplaptoblet? You get the idea.

Not a new technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30957292)

I've seen this implemented already. I remember using Microsoft OneNote on the earliest of tablet PCs and found how nice it was to have the software, either OS or program-based I'm not sure, recognize the pressure and feed back a pencil-like feel. It also changed the darkness of the mark, not just the thickness. Same thing on the Wacom tablets. Very useful in Photoshop.

Multitouch3D (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958304)

This could give a new twist to input devices, adding a new dimension to the interaction. Will be harder to show in video, and probably will need some training or adjustment, but possibilities could be as big as was multitouch alone.

What are "Asian scripts"? (1, Interesting)

henrypijames (669281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958788)

First of all, "Asian scripts" is a totally bogus term: East Asian scripts (Chinese and derivatives, aka CJK), which are logographic [wikipedia.org] , has no relation whatsoever with other Asian scripts (e. g. Mongolian, Thai, Indic, Arabic etc.), which are alphabetic [wikipedia.org] and very much related to non-Asian alphabetic scripts (e. g. Greek and derivatives like Latin).

Second of all, neither the CJK scripts nor the other Asian scripts has a stronger emphasis on line thickness than non-Asian scripts. Including line thickness as an additional parameter would certainly improve OCR for CJK, but no more than it would for any other script.

It seems the better solution may be... (1)

suuutch (962666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959052)

to put the QTC on the pen tip and leave the screen with ordinary touch sensation.

no pressure sensitive stylus? (2, Interesting)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959098)

why does the screen need to be pressure sensitive? the primary application of this technology is for handwriting and sketching. Wouldn't it make more sense to add a spring for resistance and make the tip of the pen pressure sensitive rather then recreating the entire writing surface?
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