Wacom EMR vs. N-Trig vs. Wacom AES

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Kumabjorn, Feb 22, 2015.

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  1. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    So basically, you want EMR :p

    I think the closest you'll find is the super-cap based AES implementation from Lenovo (eg. X1 Yoga). Because the pen is always charged, they might have increased the power output for better hover range and polling rate to the digitizer.
     
  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    According to Anoto's investor literature, Microsoft has stopped selling N-Trig pens to other companies. They're keeping their stylus tech in-house.

    http://www.redeye.se/system/files/private/report_files/2016/02/update_20160216_31413.pdf


    "Together with the Q4 report Anoto announced that it
    will acquire another 3 partners for a non-cash issue of
    Anoto shares worth SEKm 80. In the meantime,
    Surface Hub by Microsoft continues to struggle,
    providing Anoto and its large displays a window of
    opportunity, which Anoto is about to seize with its new
    Cima Nanotech partnership. Smaller displays also

    have a promising outlook as Microsoft is not selling
    pens to N-trig’s old customers anymore."


    I don't know how true that is, but it would signify a ground shift in the philosophy Microsoft launched the Surface line on. -That is, to inspire other companies with the possibilities of tablet computing. To stop making stylus tech available might indicate a more aggressive and possessive approach to their business model.

    I find it interesting that openness and sharing can often lead to large jumps in innovation.
     
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  3. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thats an interesitng article....if its true. I'll admit I didn't read the whole 26 page thing....but alot of it seems more like educated speculation
    _____________________________
    Q3'15
    4. Apple's iPad Pro has been in a steady decline since a while back
    5. Apple launches Apple Pencil
    Is Apple Pencil an intended saviour for iPad Pro?
    ______________________________


    Granted there were production/release delays with getting the pencil out to most stores at launch, but the Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil were launched together, and that bit in the report doesn't reflect that.

    As far as Microsoft keeping N-trig tech exclusive...I suspected as much from the moment Microsoft acquired them. VAIO either purchased a stock pile of N-trig tech early on, or Microsoft was still honoring their contract. But the almost complete shift of all other OEMs ditching N-trig painted that picture quite clearly.

    Kind of Ironic......N-trig's Digitial Pencil was designed as a Cheaper and Easier to produce Pen solution directly compared to Wacom's EMR Based UD Digitizer. A whole slew of OEMs jumped ship to N-trig or at least tried them for a few products. So in retaliation, Wacom made their own AES pen solution to undercut N-trig......but they do so just as N-trig is purchased by Microsoft and taken off the table to all other OEMs. Had Wacom not developed their AES tech, and N-trig still got bought out by Microsoft........In such a scenario would all the OEMs currently flocking to Wacom AES now, have ended up with EMR based tablets instead?

    But most interesting to me is the little bit about Samsung......especially with the Tab Pro S suspiciously lacking a S-pen for a Bluetooth C-pen instead.

    "It is also interesting to follow what Samsung does as it has lost about 40
    percent on its investment of a 5 percent stake in Wacom around 3 years ago.
    Samsung that has earlier parallel invested in its own Wacom-like
    technology has not yet shown any signs of switching technology to pro-cap,
    which has earlier been estimated by Touch Display Research to be the
    winning technology for mass market applications in smaller devices.
    Samsung might therefore be an interesting opportunity for Anoto."
     
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  4. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    Well since Toshiba and Fujitsu are already using Wacom and N-trig seems to be MS exclusive, this could bode well for the next gen Vaio Z line. My guess would be they could be moving it to Wacom AES.
     
  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I agree.

    As much as I think it would be cool to see optical pen tech enter the game in a real way, I have a feeling that Anoto is going to mess up their chances with the TPC market by trying to flog that thick stylus solution of theirs. (Maybe they should get the Japanese to re-design the thing!)

    Also.., USI is still a big fish swimming around out there somewhere in dark water.

    I just hope, whatever stylus tech is used, that the next generation of tablets aren't these idiotic 12" scribblers. All the Surface Book reviews I've looked at are reporting that once you experience its big screen, going back to some 12" POS is really difficult.

    No kidding.

    I'm also going to morosely predict that the industry will continue to be as thick-headed as ever. -That is, I think the Surface Book will be the last machine with a halfway intelligent screen size and ratio we'll see for another ten years. Hope I'm wrong!
     
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  6. The5

    The5 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Might be a unnecessary to bloat this here, but just so I got this right, there are 3 common active digitizer techs:
    • Wacom EMR/Penabled is the common Wacom drawing tablets tech and works for everyone that is used to it. The pens got buttons and can have a eraser at the back. Apparently the main issue is that there is some parallax (pen not drawing exactly under it depending on viewing angle) and the line drifts towards the bottom at the right end of the screen. However the pen activates the tablet by floating over the surface and hence you are less likely to accidentally draw with your palm. Since the tablet powers the pen it drains more power from the tablet. The extra layer makes the tablet thicker and usually only is in tablets that don't need internal space for cooling (like i3, i5, or i7), so EMR is primarily on Atom and Core M Tablets.
    • N-trig (Microsoft) used to not work with photoshop but meanwhile does. (Sometime along the release of the Surface 3 Microsoft bought N-trig and fixed that with a driver on the surface 3 page.) Those pens can have buttons but no eraser. The pens require a battery and can hence not be housed in the tablet. The parallax is better with this. The hover distance is shorter so you will sometimes end up accidentally drawing with your palm resting on the surface. The hover cursor lags behind the pen. Though, the hove cursor only, not in actual drawing mode.
    • Wacom AES/EMS is a response to N-trig, because N-trig actually has better parallax than EMR. The pens too require a battery now and are said to have better precision and pressure sensitivity the EMR ones. Basically the same as N-trig overall but you are not as likely to draw with your palm and there is a smaller lag of the hover cursor behind the pen, yet the hover cursor only, not in the actual drawing mode. It is said to have better pressure sensitivity than N-trig too.
    Conclusion:
    • All of the above work perfectly fine with Photoshop and pressure sensitivity.
    • All tech is similarly good for actual drawing. Wacom ones are slightly better.
    • EMR produces the smoothest lines and got less palm-resting issues. But it got parallax.
    • N-trig got hover cursor lag but no parallax. But it got palm-resting issues.
    • AES/EMS got hover cursor lag and no parallax. It got less palm-resting issues.
    • Neither tech got jittering, stuttering, delays (aside of the lag of the hover cursor) or other noisy behavior in pressure or line. If a tablets pen got any of the above, it is the tablets/pens fault, not the underlying techs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2016
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  7. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thats not true. Since the tablet has to be thicker to even have internal cooling, EMR is far more likely to be found on more powerful devices, primarily i5's. Thus far only 2 Core M tablets have had EMR tech and only the more recent Clovertrail Atoms (5 or 6 tablets) & Baytrail Atoms (3 tablets) had EMR. Prior to Clovertrail, EMR was almost never on a atom, and Cherry Trail and up has been all AES.

    A few corrections here as well. Microsofts updated the N-trig tech for the Pro 4/Book....which they are now referring to Pixel Sense and has had a few changes that bring it more in line with EMR Levels. The Pen now does have a Back end Eraser, but its not pressurized. EMR Backend erasers were pressure sensitive, The N-trig/Pixel Sense eraser is not. Also the Cursor Hovering Lag has been corrected and is essentially as good as EMR now. Also Photoshop "CC" is N-trig/Surface ready.....not so much for any Driver improvement, but Adobe switched from Wintab to Microsoft Ink API for Pressure in Photoshop CC, so Photoshop CC doesn't require the driver. Earlier editions of Photoshop "CS4, CS5, etc" would still need the driver and might still be buggy.
     
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  8. The5

    The5 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Does that mean, if I happened to get a old N-trig tablet now it would still notwork with PS CS4?
    I assumed updating the N-trig software/driver/whatever would suffice, but from the sounds of it they updated the hardware?
     
  9. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    No kidding..? I can't find mention of this anywhere. Are you talking from direct experience? That's pretty big news.


    People regularly misunderstand/misuse the term "parallax". I don't know what they mean half the time because I think they are referring to two different phenomena...

    What parallax actually refers to is the result of a separation between stylus tip and cursor position due to the thickness of the glass/plastic protecting the LCD surface. Even with perfect calibration, with the cursor exactly below the stylus tip, if there are several millimeters of glass and air in between, then depending on where your eyes are above the screen, the position of the cursor in relation to the stylus will appear to change when really it isn't changing at all. This is parallax, and it has nothing to do with the digitizer technology being used, though because EMR has been around for much longer, back when screen lenses were thicker, (before "Gorilla Glass" and such), people mistakenly think that EMR itself is responsible for the phenomenon. It isn't.

    Particularly in newer tablets made from super-strong and thin screen materials, the thing people are often actually complaining about when they say, "parallax" is in reality a calibration problem. EMR has a much more difficult time achieving perfect calibration, resulting often in positional drift of the cursor in relation to the stylus tip depending on what part of the screen is being accessed.

    As it happens, that effect is a result of the same property which makes EMR so good in terms of hover response. AES doesn't even need position calibration, because it determines the coordinates of the stylus nib where physical contact is made, where current flows between pen and screen, -which is precisely where you want your cursor to appear anyway. Coding for accurate cursor placement becomes a trivial exercise. However, this also means the computer has trouble knowing where exactly the nib is when the current flow is broken when the user pulls the stylus up to hover somewhere above the electrostatic surface. This results in the drifty sort of guesstimate placement of the cursor AES systems have struggled with.

    By contrast EMR doesn't base any of its position information on current flowing through direct physical contact with the screen; its hover and contact positions are always the same, always in sync. -They just drift around a bit because the digitizer layer under the LCD has its own idea of what's what. With AES, the LCD is the digitizer layer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
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  10. blackcat

    blackcat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Either way, it is the perceived mismatched position between the stylus tip vs cursor, from the user's vantage.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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