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.
Source: Touch Display Research, Active Pen 2014 report.
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
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.