Anoto - optical stylus tech

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by thatcomicsguy, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I figured I'd start a new thread specifically focused on Anoto.

    They're the OEM maker supplying the stylus tech used in Panasonic's 20" 4K Toughpad;

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/thr...let-sports-4k-display-runs-windows-8-1.58477/

    Anoto's approach to the digital stylus is based on a system of optics, using a small camera in their pen designs which reads a film integrated in a tablet display which is printed with dots visible only to the camera (in the IR or UV range?).

    It's an old idea which has never taken off, but which offers some interesting advantages over the EM and electrostatic solutions we see in current popular use. -Among them are pinpoint accuracy, elimination of palm-rejection issues and easy scaleability. -If you want to have a really big drawing surface, you don't have to specifically formulate an antenna system tweaked for a new given size, (as Wacom must do); you just cut a sheet of dot film to the size you want. This allows for truly huge drawing surfaces, as seen in this demo video...



    Anoto may be worth keeping an eye on; HP signed a deal with them recently to use their technology in some upcoming devices set to arrive, possibly in 2016. (Discussed here.)

    They also, earlier this week, (Dec 7, 2015) announced the acquisition of the California-based digital stylus company, Livescribe.

    https://www.livescribe.com/blog/noteworthy2/2015/12/anoto-completes-acquisition-of-livescribe/

    Livescribe was already licensing Anoto's tech for their line of digital pens.

    What will become of their activities.., who can say? But one thing is certain; this small Swedish company of 100+ employees isn't sitting on its hands and they have some unique ideas to offer to the field of digital writing/drawing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Found this gem of a little video from 2011 which tells the company's story, with lots of great information about the evolution of their technology and business directions.

    Of particular interest to Tablet PC users, check out the video at 6:35. Forum members here have wondered aloud more than once about the viability of turning any screen into a digital drawing surface. Well.., Anoto's tech makes it look extremely simple.

    As well, at 18:05, Ebba Asly Fahraeus, their VP of sales and marketing, is extremely forthcoming and articulate about a host of items I wish other companies would be (a lot!) more open regarding.



    Can you imagine Wacom or N-Trig or Lenovo having the basic human consideration of climbing out of their ivory towers to actually communicate to their users like this in such an unguarded and straight manner? It's a breath of very fresh air after a years-long diet of silence and spin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
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  3. YVerloc

    YVerloc Scribbler - Standard Member

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    you're absolutely right, that was refreshing. They won me over. I'll have to take back the disparaging things I said in the Panasonic toughpad 4k thread. Now I'm so confused though. I don't know what gear to buy anymore.
     
  4. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Interesting the name similarity to the fountain pen brand Onoto.

    If one needs a laugh, it's well worth looking up the backstory on that particular brand and the Vaudeville act which the founder did.
     
  5. Mikerman

    Mikerman Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Isn't creativity and innovation a wonderful thing, especially in these times of ours? :)
     
  6. Rybban

    Rybban Pen Pal - Newbie

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    What are your thoughts about the new slimmer pen? It can write on any surface, on paper, small and large screens. What do you think about the potential? New products will be released soon together with HP.
     
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  7. Burgundy

    Burgundy Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Man, whenever some company releases a video with both rating and comments turned off, I can only look at them with distrust and as if they were hiding/scheming something.

    That tech has a catch, if it's anything like the new bluetooth tech, it's going to be crap, since there are reports of them having some serious delays, and whacked pressure sense.

    Their tech looks incredibly, if only they would make more trustworthy demo videos of it.

    Any pen tech fell flat on it's face, the new bluetooth tech needs more work, to improve it's report speed and delay, this one, is another, "What's the catch, we need to see it in full use!".

    As long it's better than synaptics, I guess HP isn't completely ****ed, by utilizing Anoto.
     
  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The potential is huge, I think. None of the existing technologies offered by competing companies allow for the easy adoption of such a wide range of screen sizes. Right now, you need touchy and expensive EMR solutions which have a heavy R&D cost. Anoto's approach only needs the pen, a sheet of plastic and a specialized driver to turn any screen at all into a drawing surface. That's pretty cool.

    I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it all comes together with the HP deal.

    Whether or not Anoto can tame Bluetooth is, I suspect, the issue. However, from their demo gear seen in the previous convention floor videos, it looks like they have things running smoothly. (Personally, I'd be happy with a tethered stylus if Bluetooth is a problem. I don't like unnecessary EMR pollution anyway, and I spent years working with an airbrush and an air hose, so a wire would be nothing.)

    In any case, time will tell if this all translates into a good general user experience when the products go live.

    I have my fingers crossed for Anoto. I like the optical approach a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  9. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    One of the founders was the guy who developed Bluetooth.

    Balbutio ergo sum
     
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  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm having trouble tracking down this info. What was his name?
     

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