When the late co-founder and Apple CEO Steve Jobs went on the record with his opinion on the Stylus it was pretty clear he was not a fan. When asked if the iPad would ever use one, his response was in the context of his competitors’ products:
“If you see a stylus, they blew it.”
However, the discussion around why you would capture data using any kind of input device (fingernail, sharpened toothpick, stylus or even a carrot – as demo’d by Lenovo at CES 2015 ) on a glass surface seemed more about natural input being a redundant technique as much as it was about the stylus being a step back in time to the Palm PDA days.
Fortunately, the dialogue has again shifted back to discussion around user preferences for interacting with technology, rather than a all in resignation to the fact that tablets, keyboards and wireless mice have replaced the need to use a stylus altogether.
Recent trends towards enabling tech and offline surfaces with ‘smart’ pattern appear to be responding to the consumer demand for convergent processes to incorporate the traditional with the new. This type of technology is making dumb things smart – and passive processes live. The resulting data generation processes that follows creates a whole new motivation for using a preferred and proven method of data capture./input in the first place.
The WSJ summed it nicely in a recent post “handwriting is dead”
It will be interesting to see if these types of innovation will gather momentum at the CES in January.
With exhibitors like JTOUCH, there is sure to be a strong focus on hybrid solutions as well as as the general innovation around the internet of things.
You can also expect to see a large number of attendees taking notes, using their Surface, Tablet, Samsung, DPP Notebook, carrot on glass maybe, or even writing on their arm!