Wacom next generation active pen (gen 13) , 4096 level of pressure + tilt + universal and more

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by alisaad619, May 13, 2016.

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  1. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    The pen doesn't collect tilt data in any of the current implementations. Wacom EMR collects tilt data from the digitizer, Apple Pencil collects tilt data from the multitouch panel. I expect Wacom ES to collect tilt data in the multitouch panel in the same way. It's very poor design to have to collect tilt data from the pen, because then you have to compare it with tilt data from the device and work out the difference. By collecting tilt data the Apple Pencil way you save yourself the intermediate step and you always have accurate tilt.

    Since the USI standard allows for multiple pens on the same display, it's almost trivial to add an emitter that's orthogonal to the tip and use the "mark" it makes on the touchscreen to get tilt data.
     
  2. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Are you sure that Apple Pencil does not have a tilt sensor? I know Wacom relies on measuring the coil offset sensed by the board for EMR implementations. But I'm pretty sure that Apple uses actual sensor in the Pencil.

    If there was a reliable way to measure pen tilt via pro cap touch method, someone would have done it before Apple. Unlike EMR boards, pro cap boards wouldn't be able to do this without a tilt sensor in the pen AFAIK.
     
  3. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I just checked. Apple Pencils has twin emitters in the Apple Pencil, not a tilt sensor per se. It's a lot more like how Wacom does tilt sensing that I originally thought. So the board does sense the tilt like you said, not the Pencil.

    So the question is, if Wacom follows Apple's method, are the current chips used in the AES and N-Trig digitizer boards flexible enough to sense tilt when the pen gives them a second emitter location? I honestly have no clue. I guess it depends on how programmable those chips are.

    I guess two emitters makes sense when you already decided to stick in a super capacitor in the Pencil instead of run it off of AAAA batteries. But that may not be the case with the Wacom's new pens. They may still have to rely on AAAA battery for variety of reasons. If they do I wonder if a second emitter makes less sense than a dedicated tilt sensor? Which eats less power? But then again, a second emitter also gives you the direction of tilt that dedicated tilt sensor might not easily.

    Although, if they decide to go with a dedicated sensor, they can also maybe kill rotation bird with the same tilt stone. One sensor may be able to do both tilt and rotation sensing. But I don't think Wacom will be willing to give up all the advantages for their pro line of tablets.

    Enough speculations for one night. Can't wait to see how they do these new pens.
     
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  4. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Nope, the only thing collected from the multitouch panel with the pencil is position.
    Everything else comes from the pen and is sent through bluetooth, like any other bluetooth stylus.
     
  5. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    That's not true, check Apple's patent for their pencil and iFixit's teardown of the pencil, it's definitely one emitter pointing "down" (along the axis of the pen) and another pair of emitters pointing "sideways" (orthogonal to the axis of the pen). Technically the only thing that has to be sent by Bluetooth is the pressure measurements (Pen ID, synchronisation information, button presses, and other things can be sent too, but they don't necessarily have to if you just want to measure location and tilt). Location and tilt are sensed on the touch panel by measuring the location of the sideways emitters' "touch" in relation to the down-pointing emitter's "touch". Alternatively you can go the Wacom EMR route and measure the shape of a toroidal EM field, instead of the more spotlight-shaped emission from active capacitive pens. Wacom only had to do it that way because 20 years ago there were no multitouch capacitive panels, or at least they were a lot more rare and expensive than they are today.

    The problem with an accelerometer (tilt sensor) is that you have to compare the pen's tilt against the device's tilt, which gives you more uncertainty (errors). By adding another emitter, you don't have to worry about the device moving or shaking and thus distorting the measurement, and you don't have to add any new hardware - you already have a multitouch panel and an emitter, why not throw in two more? Modern multitouch panels can separate five or ten simultaneous touches.

    Some Wacom EMR can do tilt but not rotation because rotation has to take into account the orientation of the EM field in addition to its shape. Most Wacom EMR pens probably make a toroidal EM field, so it looks the same no matter which way you rotate it around the pen axis. They probably had to make special pens with unusually-shaped fields so the digitizer can deduce rotation information (for example you can't tell which way a circle is rotated, but you can tell which way an ellipse is rotated because it's longer in one axis)

    This isn't necessary with capacitive active pens. The emitters, as far as the touch panel is concerned, are very accurate fingers, with the tilt emitters just being more fingers placed at a different location. The distance between the fingers gives the amount of tilt (one finger - no tilt, two fingers far apart - a bit of tilt, two fingers close together - a lot of tilt) and you can easily work out rotation if each of the three emitters can be identified separately (for example by using time division multiplexing, like Wacom's USI multiple-pen standard does, or simply having the different emitters give out different signals that the touch panel can differentiate, probably like the Apple Pencil does).
     
  6. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Can you point me to the patent you refer? Apple has so many of them...

    Edit:
    Nevermind, you're probably right, sorry. ;)
    And I'm too ill today to think of things more complicated than eat, sleep and make amends to those last-three-freaking-artworks-and-then-you're-free. -.-
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  7. DaniJoy

    DaniJoy www.danijoy.com

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    fun thread to read! thanks.

    I sure hope wacom does not ditch rotation. i really like that feature. its fun to play with. i hope to see it come to all stylus- and on non wacom tablets.
     
  8. andya147

    andya147 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    in march I went to the photo show in the uk and went to the Wacom stand and said how good I thought the apple pencil was and one guy wasn't happy and before we got into a heated moment another guy took me to one side and I had a good chat about the problems I had with the 27hd and companion 1 and 2 charging problems dead pixels ect ect..I asked him have Wacom anything planned and he said 16inch tablet and that was all he could say this news on the stylus is great and if it has the accuracy of the apple pencil things could really heat up .imagine apple releasing a laptop type surface pro with the apple pencil all good times ahead
     
  9. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I wish Apple would license their OS for use in non-competing form factors.
     
  10. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    That's exactly what they do. Wacom sells special pens that sense rotation. Normal Intuos Pro/Cintiq pens like DTK pens only sense pressure and tilt.

    I'm sure all EMR boards in essence can be made to work with pens that do tilt and rotation. I recently learned that certain Android apps are hacking tilt function into S-pen devices, even though those pens weren't marketed for that function. In Windows, EMR Penabled/Feel pens (S-pen equivalent) doesn't even get drivers that exposes tilt functionality. Maybe Android's native pen driver does.
     
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