USI (Universal Stylus Initiative).

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by thatcomicsguy, Sep 18, 2015.

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  1. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    There's a lengthy article about the USI and their pending December release of an industry standard. -Like USB but for digital pens.

    Say what you will about the iPad Pro, but it looks like a sign that industry is finally waking up en masse to public demand for reliable pens to use with their portable devices. Membership in Intel's USI non-profit standards alliance keeps growing, with the number of industry leaders having signed aboard pushing towards 30. It's taking on the aura of the popular table in the tech lab, and nobody wants to be left out.

    I'm both optimistic and a little bit dubious about what this will actually mean; it appears that the primary drive is to capitalize on existing capacitive touch screen technologies, (like N-Trig and Wacom's AES systems), -which while having won support in the public, have their drawbacks. Perhaps the new standard will include items like a minimum hover distance which is greater than the existing examples.

    Standards, (if they are well-considered), will force vendors to engineer solutions which don't drive users crazy, equipment which actually works before earning the sticker. And we'll all get to see the standard soon, when it is published in December. We ought to be able to know if the coming USI compliant pens will be worth being excited about.

    Here's another brief on the upcoming publication...

    Intel USI to announce stylus standard in December; more members joining the alliance

    Monica Chen, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 17 September 2015]

    Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) started by Intel is planning to announce the official standard for its stylus that can be used across platforms, and many component suppliers have been expanding capacity, looking to acquire related orders.

    Many new members have also joined USI such as Asustek Computer, Quanta Computer, LG Electronics, Parade Technologies and STMicroelectronics with total member number expecting to surpass 30 by the end of 2015.

    Starting early 2016, products that support the USI standard will be able to put the USI certification label on their devices.

    In addition to IT players, writing instrument vendor Montblanc has also joined USI.

    In the fourth quarter, Dell is already planning to launch several 2-in-1 devices and all-in-one PCs that support USI stylus, while HP is looking to launch three new products supporting the USI standard in early 2016.


    Membership list, (swiped from the USI website)

    As of Jan 1st, 2016

    Advanced Silicone
    Ametl - USI Board Vice President, Stan Swearingen (Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Atmel Corporation)
    Intel - USI Board President/Chairman, Pete Mueller (Principal Engineer / Senior Technologist, Intel Corporation)
    Lenovo - USI Board Treasurer, Ritch Russ (Senior Manager, Innovation Sourcing, Lenovo Inc.)

    Havnon Pentech - Director, James Zhang
    Sharp - Director, Masayuki Miyamoto
    SIS - Director, Jackie Yeh

    Synaptics - Director, Jeff Lukanc
    Wacom - USI Board Secretary - Nobutaka Ide (Vice President of Wacom)
    Waltop - Director, Jerry Tang
    LG Display
    Quanta Computer
    UC Logic

    Joined after November 21st 2015:

    Japan Display Inc.
    GP Batteries
    Tactile Automation
    Cirel Systems

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  2. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    200 million stylus haters are turning into Pencil lovers. Off course the future looks brighter.

    Balbutio ergo sum
  3. cutterline

    cutterline Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I didn't expect this but kinda funny since stylus has been there for more than decades and out of nowhere, they are making the USI it's after a certain brand announcement or is it win10 effect?

    Well, this is good news as now we have minimum stylus standard for every devices rolling out.

    With this news, I'm pretty certain N-trig will bring new feature in SP4 live event. Damn, can't wait october!
  4. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if USI was started because Wacom started seeing all these other digital pen makers eating into their business (N-trig, Synaptics, Qualcomm, Huion, now Apple...) and they decided to lead the change rather than become a niche artists' high-end hardware maker.

    The idea that all touch devices will support pens seems like a natural step forward and I'm glad we're finally coming out of the dark ages of proprietary digital pens.
    Starlight5, iridescentFUZZ and stormi like this.
  5. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, ages ago, I opined that Apple would have an awkward point if they had only touch tablets and clamshell laptops and had to add a machine w/ an active stylus.

    Guess that’s where we are.
  6. testplayer

    testplayer Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Wow, that's amazing if they finally succeed, and that's the biggest revolution since the invention of pen computing. But I'm not sure whether they can achieve the hover distance and latency etc. of Wacom EMR, because it seems like Wacom EMR will become history after the prevalence of this standard.
  7. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I was unaware that there was a popular table in the tech lab.
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  8. Burgundy

    Burgundy Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm curious what this entails in the current stylus/digitizer tech. Will this be a scheme for Wacom to keep certain patents longer, or to spread itself out to the masses instead?

    I'm certainly looking forward to a more broad stylus/pen tech in more tablets, since all my future laptop/tablets choices are severely reduced by the fact, they need a good stylus tech inside it as well. And while at it, I'm more excited about the SP4 than anything Apple might be bringing.
  9. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I believe it's the one with the donuts.
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The potential coolness of the USI is only now really beginning to dawn on me.

    Here's a company jumping the gun with pen models designed to work on any USI compliant device...



    Imagine being able to grab any 3rd party USI pen, and get a Wacom / N-Trig level experience on not just the few tablets designed from the outset to support a pen, but pretty much ANY new computer with a touch screen. An open standard means no licensing fees; no pennies are saved by not being compliant. Unless the manufacturing world is full of complete imbeciles, these things are going to *everywhere*.

    If this works out well, (and I realize I'm blue-skying here), guys like me may actually find themselves no longer restricted to the limited options for tablets as envisioned by the CEOs of the big computer makers. Just scoop up a compliant device of your choice and a USI pen, and no longer have to wait around for somebody to accidentally build a portable art machine with the screen specs I want.

    If all goes the USI way, then this latest crop of stylus-enabled tablets we're all currently examining in excruciating detail, may be the last of their kind. -Not to mention studio level pro gear; there's plenty of opportunity for stand-alone desk top monitors which could easily accept USI pen input, and probably will. Why not? There's already a bunch which take touch input, and the whole point is that USI works by piggybacking on that system.

    I wonder if Wacom or somebody will panic before then and try to deep-six USI before December..?

    I hope not. -I am bristling with anticipation with being able to kiss off the 8 to 12 inch device cluster with a loud and merry, Good Riddance!
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
    stormi and Kumabjorn like this.
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