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Old 09-05-2011, 09:45 AM   #1
Gunnerp245
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Smart Pen for iPad

Saw this device and was interested in the community thoughts;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lWYo...feature=relmfu
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
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Looks like a lot of hassle to get slightly better resolution pen input for non-standard apps. I think the way forward is to design finger friendly apps, not to go back to pen input.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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As an artist I will have to keep an eye on this. Very interesting.
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Looks like a lot of hassle to get slightly better resolution pen input for non-standard apps. I think the way forward is to design finger friendly apps, not to go back to pen input.
You misunderstand the purpose of this. It is not meant to replace the finger driven interface. It's just that certain tasks like drawing and handwriting work much better with a pen.

One problem with conventional capacitive pens/styluses is that the screen has no way to distinguish it from flesh. So setting your arm down can have unintentional consequences. Another problem is that those thick nibs can make it hard to see what you're doing, and also just don't give it a very pen-like feel. This device appears to solve these problems.

Last edited by Dylrob; 09-05-2011 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #4
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It looks nice but couldn't they find a better name? There are all sorts of things called smart pens in the market already. I wonder what technology they are using.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylrob View Post
As an artist I will have to keep an eye on this. Very interesting.

You misunderstand the purpose of this. It is not meant to replace the finger driven interface. It's just that certain tasks like drawing and handwriting work much better with a pen.

One problem with conventional capacitive pens/styluses is that the screen has no way to distinguish it from flesh. So setting your arm down can have unintentional consequences. Another problem is that those thick nibs can make it hard to see what you're doing, and also just don't give it a very pen-like feel. This device appears to solve these problems.
I'm not convinced. I've replaced handwritten notes for the past year using the iPad, but without using a stylus. And even for drawing I'm not sure that a stylus is better - people have managed pretty impressive artwork without a stylus.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I'm not convinced. I've replaced handwritten notes for the past year using the iPad, but without using a stylus. And even for drawing I'm not sure that a stylus is better - people have managed pretty impressive artwork without a stylus.
People have similarly managed impressive works with finger painting. That doesn't make the paintbrush obsolete.

As an artist myself i will tell you that there is a huge difference between the broad tip of a finger and the fine tip of a pen. And yes, I have attempted to draw on my iPad using just my fingers.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Looks like a lot of hassle to get slightly better resolution pen input for non-standard apps. I think the way forward is to design finger friendly apps, not to go back to pen input.
As a painter/drawing hobbyist, I'm all for pens or brushes. Much more precision, plus your finger don't drag around oily and slowly. Might have been fun as a kid, but drawing with the finger just doesn't cut it.

I do have a wacom pen tablet peripheral for PC...
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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I cant stand stylus for the iPad... I have one and I find one fatal flaw... my wrist! For it to work properly I need to keep the wrist of the screen and that is a real PIA. Some apps try to compensate for that it is inevitable to have stray marks at the bottom of the page where your wrist makes contact with the screen
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerp245 View Post
Saw this device and was interested in the community thoughts; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lWYo...feature=relmfu
I confess to not having an iPad. I was interested as I did not know the iPad had the ability. In the video, it says wrist can lean on screen without making marks. I understand there is an app, penultimate, that performs similarly.
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcuadro View Post
I cant stand stylus for the iPad... I have one and I find one fatal flaw... my wrist! For it to work properly I need to keep the wrist of the screen and that is a real PIA. Some apps try to compensate for that it is inevitable to have stray marks at the bottom of the page where your wrist makes contact with the screen
Exactly what this stylus is supposed to solve. It is not sensitive to your palm or wrist.

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Old 09-05-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
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People have similarly managed impressive works with finger painting. That doesn't make the paintbrush obsolete.

As an artist myself i will tell you that there is a huge difference between the broad tip of a finger and the fine tip of a pen. And yes, I have attempted to draw on my iPad using just my fingers.
I was talking about a tablet interface - not suggesting that other media were obsolete otherwise. On tablets, I think that finger-based interfaces are the way to go, even for painting - where as you say, the results can be impressive (like this for example).

Having used various stylus-based tablets over the years and now the iPad, it seems to me that the latter has at last got the interface right. I carry a stylus in my pocket, which I bought thinking that it might be useful, but never use it in practice - it's simply not necessary.

So, I think this product looks like a dud. I've taken several hundred pages of handwritten notes on the iPad without a stylus which look as good as what this seems to achieve from the glimpse on the video.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I confess to not having an iPad. I was interested as I did not know the iPad had the ability. In the video, it says wrist can lean on screen without making marks. I understand there is an app, penultimate, that performs similarly.
It is supposed to be resistant to wrists on the surface but this is done with software filtering out the multi-touch screen. I think this announcement has hardware solution so I would not say that they perform similarly without testing. My guess would be that dedicated hardware would be better but YMMV.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:37 PM   #13
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I was talking about a tablet interface - not suggesting that other media were obsolete otherwise. On tablets, I think that finger-based interfaces are the way to go, even for painting - where as you say, the results can be impressive (like this for example).

Having used various stylus-based tablets over the years and now the iPad, it seems to me that the latter has at last got the interface right. I carry a stylus in my pocket, which I bought thinking that it might be useful, but never use it in practice - it's simply not necessary.

So, I think this product looks like a dud. I've taken several hundred pages of handwritten notes on the iPad without a stylus which look as good as what this seems to achieve from the glimpse on the video.
That's nice, but I don't see any especially fine details. And even for moderate details he has to zoom in to compensate. You'd have to zoom in reeeaaally close to even begin to replicate pen-like precision. Literally losing sight of the bigger picture in the process.

Last edited by Dylrob; 09-05-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:43 AM   #14
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I've been curious about pens for the iPad. I'm in a very spendy mood lately, so I may end up buying one, but I doubt I will use it. A tablet is made to be used with fingers, adding a pen could only be awkward, for many reasons: the wrist problem, losing multiple finger gestures, and simply having to fiddle with one more physical object when sometimes balancing/holding the tablet while using it is tricky enough.

Of course that's a matter of taste, I know many people use a pen and are happy with it. But for me, if I need need to add accessories to my iPad then I'd rather go back to my Mac (and its tablet).

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Old 09-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #15
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Thanks all for the comments and information.
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