Category Archives: Active Pen

Cima and Anoto Active Pen for Large Touch Displays

February 20, 2016

At ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2016, Cima Nanotech booth showcased large size touch display with Anoto’s active pen. The touch sensor is using ITO-replacement–Cima’s SANTE transparent conductor technology. The Anoto’s active pen is based on camera with micro dot technology.

Figure 1. Cima Nanotech with Anoto active pen at ISE 2016

Cima anoto pen

Photo source: Display Daily, Feb 2016

The active pen industry landscape has changed dramatically in recent 2 years: The number of companies actively working on active pen technology has increased from 60 companies in 2014 to over 100 companies in 2016.

Touch Display Research defines active pen as a pen with an electronic circuit. Some active pens have an integrated battery in it, and others don’t. A passive pen has neither an electronic circuit nor a battery. In the recently published “Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast 2016 Report”, Second Edition, Touch Display Research Inc., analyzed more than twenty digital pen technologies, which include thirteen active pen technologies and eight passive pen technologies.

Figure 2: Active pen and passive pen summary and comparison (Full table is in the excel database)

active pen passive pen table

Source: Touch Display Research, Active pen technologies supply chain and market forecast 2016 report.

Digital pen input is very useful in education, certain language input, medical, finance, industry applications, and content creation. Active pen technology is superior to passive in terms of accuracy, pressure sensing, and input of fine line. We forecast that active pen usage will have rapid growth in the next several years.

More analysis of active pen and active pen market forecast can be found in the “Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast 2016 Report”. More analysis of ITO-replacement transparent conductor for large size touch display can be found in the “ITO-replacement 2016 report”.

You can subscribe on our website: www.touchdisplayresearch.com in the Market Research report page or by email: jc@touchdisplayresearch.com

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team

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About Touch Display Research Inc.

Touch Display Research, Inc. (www.TouchDisplayResearch.com) is an independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in touch screen and emerging display technologies such as OLED displays, OLED lighting, flexible displays, e-paper displays, ITO-replacement, Active pen, 3D displays, near-eye displays, pocket projectors, quantum dots, gesture controls, voice controls, and eye controls. Touch Display Research provides standard reports, consulting projects, and due diligence for touch suppliers, display manufacturers, consumer electronics ODMs/OEMs, material suppliers, investor companies, venture capitalists, and companies who are merging or acquiring companies in the touch screen, display, and materials industry. We are member of FlexTech Alliance and SID.

Huawei Active Pen at CES 2016 and Active Pen Market

January 21, 2016

At CES 2016, Huawei booth showcased MediaPad M2 10 inch tablet PC with active pen. The display is 10.1 inch 1920×1080 pixel format. The active pen have 2048 pressure level sensitivity. The pen is branded as Huawei’s pen.

Figure 1. Huawei active pen at CES 2016

Huawei pen CES 2016

Photo by: Dr. Jennifer Colegrove, Jan 2016

The active pen industry landscape has changed dramatically in recent 2 years: The number of companies actively working on active pen technology has increased from 60 companies in 2014 to over 100 companies in 2016.

Touch Display Research defines active pen as a pen with an electronic circuit. Some active pens have an integrated battery in it, and others don’t. A passive pen has neither an electronic circuit nor a battery. In the recently published “Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast Report (Second Edition),” Touch Display Research Inc., analyzed more than twenty digital pen technologies, which include thirteen active pen technologies and eight passive pen technologies.

Figure 2: Active pen and passive pen summary and comparison (Full table is in the excel database)

active pen passive pen table

Source: Touch Display Research, Active pen technologies supply chain and market forecast 2016 report.

Digital pen input is very useful in education, certain language input, medical, finance, industry applications, and content creation. Active pen technology is superior to passive in terms of accuracy, pressure sensing, and input of fine line. We forecast that active pen usage will have rapid growth in the next several years.

More analysis of CES 2016 active pen exhibitions and active pen market forecast can be found in the “Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast 2016 Report”. You can subscribe on our website: www.touchdisplayresearch.com in the Market Research report page or by email: jc@touchdisplayresearch.com

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team

Free blogs, videos

About Touch Display Research Inc.

Touch Display Research, Inc.(www.TouchDisplayResearch.com) is an independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in touch screen and emerging display technologies such as OLED displays, OLED lighting, flexible displays, e-paper displays, ITO-replacement, Active pen, 3D displays, near-eye displays, pocket projectors, quantum dots, gesture controls, voice controls, and eye controls. Touch Display Research provides standard reports, consulting projects, and due diligence for touch suppliers, display manufacturers, consumer electronics ODMs/OEMs, material suppliers, investor companies, venture capitalists, and companies who are merging or acquiring companies in the touch screen, display, and materials industry. We are member of Flextech Alliance and SID.

MyScript Digital Writing Conference and active pen market

October 19, 2015

Today I had a chance to attend the MyScript’s Digital Writing Conference at Marriott, Santa Clara, California. It’s a very nice conference with about 200 attendees.  MyScript CEO Paddy Padmanabhan joked that “If we host this conference in 1998, there would probably be 4 attendees. I’m glad today we have such a big crowd.”

Figure: MyScript CEO Paddy Padmanabhan gave welcome speech

MyScript CEO

Photo by: Touch Display Research, Dr. Jennifer Colegrove

My old industry friend, Mr. Gary Baum, VP of Marketing at MyScript introduced MyScript’s interactive ink management framework. He indicated, “With this next generation ink management technology, MyScript is dramatically improving the user experience, revealing the potential Power of Ink. Your handwriting, whether it is TEXT, MATH or DIAGRAM is instantly available as a formatted digital document.”

Figure: MyScript VP, Mr. Gary Baum, presenting

MyScript Gary

Photo by: Touch Display Research, Dr. Jennifer Colegrove

At this conference, my Intel alumni and president of USI (Universal Stylus Initiative), Mr. Pete Mueller introduced USI and its work on active pen.

Figure: USI president, Mr. Pete Mueller presenting

USI Pete

Photo by: Touch Display Research, Dr. Jennifer Colegrove

In the Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast report, Touch Display Research forecasts that the market for active-pen writing modules (including pen sensor, one pen, and the controller IC) will increase from $931 million in 2014 to $4.17 billion in 2020.

Figure 3. Active pen market forecast to 2020

active pen forecast with TDR

Source: Touch Display Research, Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast Report, 2014

More analysis of the Digital Writing Conference can be found in the “Touch and Emerging Display” monthly report.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team

 

Apple Pencil and Active Pen Market Forecast

September 9, 2015

Today Apple announced its new iPad Pro with an active pen, which Apple branded it as “Apple Pencil”.

Figure 1: Apple pencil announcement

Apple pencil

Photo by: Techcrunch.

One year ago, in Touch Display Research article published in SID Information Display Journal July/Aug 2014 issue,  Dr. Jennifer Colegrove wrote, “In 2007, when Apple released the first iPhone with a projected-capacitive touch screen, it had the benefit of multi-touch, zero-force touch, good durability, etc.  Referring to the first iPhone at the Macworld Expo in 2007, Steve Jobs told his audience, “Nobody wants a stylus.  So let’s not use a stylus.  We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world.  We’re going to use a pointing device that we’re all born with – born with 10 of them.  We’re going to use our fingers.”  Job’s point of reference for this statement was the old resistive touch pen.  Since 2011, Apple has been investing heavily in active pens, and it’s my strong belief that Apple will release an active pen soon.

Now, 14 months later, our forecast becomes reality.

While finger touch is intuitive, active-pen writing is accurate, easier, and can add a personal touch.  Pen input is very useful in education and in certain types of language input, as well as in medical, financial, industrial, and content creation or markup applications.  Touch Display Research defines an active pen as one with an electronic circuit.  Some active pens have an integrated battery in them, some not.  A passive pen has neither an electronic circuit nor a battery.  According to our research, there are nine types of active-pen technologies and six passive-pen technologies, as summarized in figure here.

Figure 2: Active pens and passive pens are compared in terms of technologies, pen tips, batteries, and sensing interfaces.

active pen report table

Source: Touch Display Research, Active pen technologies, supply chain and market forecast 2014 report.

Active-pen technology is superior to passive-pen technology in terms of accuracy, pressure sensing, and ability to draw fine lines.  Active-pen usage should therefore experience rapid growth in the next several years.  In the Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast report, Touch Display Research forecasts that the market for active-pen writing modules (including pen sensor, one pen, and the controller IC) will increase from $931 million in 2014 to $4.17 billion in 2020.

Figure 3. Active pen market forecast to 2020

active pen forecast with TDR

Source: Touch Display Research, Active Pen Technologies, Supply Chain and Market Forecast Report, 2014

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team

Microsoft acquired part of N-trig for the pen

May 7, 2015

Recently, Microsoft acquired part of N-trig.  Mr. Stevie Bathiche, Microsoft Surface Distinguished Scientist wrote in Microsoft’s blog:  “Today we are excited to have acquired advanced digital pen technology from N-trig Ltd., with whom we’ve partnered closely for several years.”

As we know, N-trig was founded in 1999 with headquarter in Israel. N-trig has received over $120 million funding before. Their old investors include Microsoft. Microsoft hasn’t announce the amount regarding this acquisition yet. Rumors hold Microsoft paid about $200 million to acquire the pen-related part asset of N-trig.

Touch Display Research believe active-pen technology is superior to passive-pen technology in terms of accuracy, pressure sensing, and ability to draw fine lines. In the Active Pen report, Touch Display Research forecasted that the market for active-pen writing modules (including pen sensor, one pen, and the controller IC) will increase from $931 million in 2014 to $4.17 billion in 2020.

Figure. Active pen market forecast to 2020.

active pen forecast 2015.JPG

Source: Touch Display Research, Active Pen 2014 report.

Touch Display Research believes this is a good move for Microsoft.  More analysis about Microsoft, N-trig and Apple can be found in the Touch and Emerging Display monthly report, May issue.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team

MultiTouch Silicon Valley event

October 9, 2014
Today, we were invited and attended MultiTouch Ltd.’s event in Silicon Valley, California.
MultiTouch Ltd. was founded in 2007 with headquarter in Finland. In 2009 it opened an office in Silicon Valley, recently they moved to this new office in Los Gatos. We had a chance to meet with their CEO, Mr. Petri Martikainen and General Manager, Mr. Timo Korpela.

Figure. MultiTouch Silicon Valley event
Multitouch CEO GM with TDR
Photo by: Touch Display Research Inc., October 2014

The reason that MultiTouch calls their technology MultiTaction is to emphasize that it’s more than multi-touch; their technology could sense IR pen, objects, 2D barcode, and unlimited finger touch.
Analysis and comparison with large size projected capacitive touch panel will be found in our “Touch and Emerging Display” October 2014 report.

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer and team

New trends in touch: ITO-replacement, active pen, touchless control

Aug 6, 2014
We just published an article in SID Information Display Journal, July/August 2014 issue—New Trends in Touch.

Figure. SID Information Display Journal
Information Display July Aug 14 cover
Source: SID Information Display, July/August 2014

With touch panels becoming ubiquitous, the touch industry is undergoing rapid change. Touch Display Research Inc. reports on its most recent survey of the leading manufacturers in the touch-screen, ITO replacement material, active pen and touchless control industry.

Here is the link to the full article. You can become a SID member right now on their website: www.sid.org.

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer and team

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with active pen

May 20, 2014
Today Microsoft announced their new tablet PC: Surface Pro 3. It’s an improvement version over the Surface Pro 2. Although both tablets are with active pen, Surface Pro 3 is 32% thinner at only 0.36 inch, while the Surface Pro 2 is 0.53 inch thick. How does Microsoft Surface group achieve the thinness? The answer is in the touch and active pen technology.
Figure. Surface Pro 3 with active pen
surface pro 3 b
Source: Microsoft, May 2014

Simultaneous finger touch and pen writing are the ideal human machine interface. Active pen technology is superior to passive pen in terms of accuracy, pressure sensing, and input of fine line. In our recently released Active pen technologies supply chain and market forecast 2014 report, we forecast that active pen usage will have rapid growth in the next several years.
Touch Display Research’s “Active pen 2014 report” provides analysis of over a dozen digital pen technologies: nine active pen technologies and six passive pen technologies. All the Android and Windows devices with active pen are compared side by side in a single chart.
The attitude of leading brands toward active pen is analyzed. This includes Samsung, Sony, Intel, HP, Dell, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Apple. You can subscribe to the report right now on our website.

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer and team

Visit of Light Blue Optics about touch and pen

April 17, 2014

I’m traveling in Cambridge, England today. I had a chance to visit Light Blue Optics (LBO). Dr. Nic Lawrence, director of product management, and Ms. Evelyne Donnaes, Software team leader at LBO, showed me their touch and pen technologies.

The last time I visit LBO in Cambridge is about 6 years ago when they were developing laser based pocket projectors. Since 2011, LBO has changed business direction and developed optical touch technology. LBO’s expertise is in the touch software, which they named Light Touch.

In January 2014, Light Blue Optics and Promethean announced the integration of LBO’s advanced Light Touch™ technology into ActivWall – Promethean’s newest digital classroom projection offering.

Figure: Promethean ActivWall with Light Blue Optics touch technology

LBO Promethean

Source: Promethean and LBO

The ActivWall is an interactive digital surface that may be positioned both “front and back” in the classroom. In order to design digital classroom surfaces that allow multiple groups of students to simultaneously collaborate, the new ActivWall features Light Blue Optics’ unique Light Touch™ technology that supports differentiated pen (i.e. the system identifies whether the contact is a pen or touch and operates accordingly) and up to 20 simultaneous touches. LBO also claims their system is lower cost than competitors.

Detail analysis, comparisons of touch and pen technologies can be found in our monthly report: Touch and Emerging Display report, April 2014 issue.

Thanks for reading.

Jennifer and team

 

N-trig: Pen and Touch Technology

May 7, 2013

I’m a believer in simultaneous finger and pen touch. See my blog from January: “Microsoft’s Jeff Han keynote at the SID Bay Area Display and Touch Technology of the Future conference.”

Today I had the chance to meet N-trig, one of the leading suppliers of active pen technology, DuoSense. Gary Baum, the AVP of product marketing at N-trig showed me dozens of pens and demonstrated the palm rejection and hover features of their technology.

Figure: N-trig’s pen and touch on Fujitsu’s hybrid notebook tablet PC

Ntrig demo on Fujitsu

Source: N-trig, photo by Jennifer Colegrove

Several companies have announced plans to supply active pens. I asked Gary what he thinks about the competitors. Gary smiled and said, “It took Wacom over twenty years to get the pen right. And it took us over ten years to have the best pen. I don’t think other competitors can catch up so fast, it’ll take them at least three, four, or five generations of pens to get it right.  On the other hand, it’s a good thing to see more competitors, since it means the market is demanding a pen.”

What new products will N-trig release in the next few months? How much funding has N-trig received? Who are the other competitors in the active pen industry and what are their roadmaps? What are the critical characteristics of the best user experience with pens? What’s the market forecast for active pen technology?  A detailed analysis can be found in the Touch and Emerging Display Monthly Report.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team