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New Microsoft patent may reduce inadequacies in next-gen Surface Pen

The Microsoft Surface Pen. (Credit: Neowin)
The Microsoft Surface Pen. (Credit: Neowin)
The Surface Pen is Microsoft's answer to the Apple Pencil. It has been described as an effective stylus, albeit one that could produce more accurate digital writing. A new patent may help improve on this with changes to both the Pen and the screen used.

The Microsoft Surface Pen is a component of the Surface Studio set-up out of the box, as it is for the Surface Book. Otherwise, fans of the Redmond company's touchscreen 2-in-1 devices can buy it as a compatible accessory for about US$99. It has been received well as an extra method of input for these machines. However, some reviews have also indicated that it could be more accurate. Its manufacturer apparently intends to address these issues in future generations of their branded digital pen.

These enhancements are proposed in a patent granted to Microsoft yesterday (February 12, 2019) by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It describes a method to generate a motion vector, calculated by the 'screen' device's sensors. They detect the motion of an incoming stylus and increase responsiveness in specific parts of the screen based on the vector.

In other words, the device may predict where the stylus is going to land with increased efficacy and 'alert' the optimal areas of the touchscreen accordingly. Microsoft has also indicated that this method may enable the screen to 'correct for' any remaining missing input from the stylus, and extrapolate the desired drawn or written output on-screen. Therefore, the stylus gives an improved impression of accuracy.

The patent's nearly-new status may mean it will be a while before this new adaptation finds its way into a next-gen Surface Pen. In the meantime, users may need to be just that tiny bit more careful with their digital scribbling.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > New Microsoft patent may reduce inadequacies in next-gen Surface Pen
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-02-13 (Update: 2019-02-13)