Gadgets

New sensors could lower the cost of touchscreen pens — and make them as good as pen and paper

Above: Atmel MaxStylus pen

Image Credit: Atmel

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Atmel is announcing a second generation of its MaxStylus pen controllers and sensors that will lower the cost of using a stylus with a touchscreen.

The San Jose, Calif.-based chip company, which is making the announcement at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, plans to deliver better accuracy, more responsiveness, and lower cost with its latest MaxStylus pen controller, dubbed the MaxStylus mXT200.

The advantage of the new stylus microcontroller chip is that it provides accurate active-pen performance without an additional sensor layer. That reduces its cost for tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Atmel claims it can deliver near-perfect “pen-to-paper” writing experience.

Atmel said it is shipping volume quantities of its Windows 8.1-certified MaxStylus controller to multiple top-tier gadget makers. Touchscreens using Atmel’s MaxTouch touchscreen controller chips can seamlessly support MaxStylus controllers. The screens can better distinguish between stylus touches and accidental touches by a user’s hand.

The result is fewer missing strokes, dropped touches, and other errors. You can even go from the stylus to your fingers with no degradation in performance. The new pens also deliver longer battery life.

“Stylus is the next generation of interaction with smart devices as consumers are seeking a more intuitive experience on their smartphones, tablets, notebooks and Ultrabooks. These smart devices also require richer feature sets to differentiate their products,” said Shar Narasimhan, senior product marketing manager at Atmel.

He said the MaxStylus pens will be in the market in the first quarter. Over time, he expects more users to adopt pens for things like official signatures and use of tablets for educational purposes.

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Atmel Corporation is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, capacitive touch solutions, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry... read more »

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