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. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It doesn't make sense to me that Apple would go out of their way to have a Pencil that polls positional data at 240Hz, yet polls pressure data at only 120Hz. Ideally, you'd want that to sync up I'd imagine.

    I don't know man... I'm still not convinced that BT is how they are passing pressure data around. Apple basically stuck to the existing active pen tech script for things like positional data and tilt data (with some variations). It seems off that only for pressure data they would veer left and use BT.

    And as for universal stylus, if they are planning to use BT for these upcoming new Wacom pens, that's one thing, but since they are doing backwards compatibility, BT should be ruled out anyways.
     
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I have to concure, I'm also skeptical that it could all run off Bluetooth. I've used the Wacom Fineline and Creative Stylus 2..and they are nowhere near as good as the Apple Pencil, in fact no Bluetooth pen is. Maybe Apple can build a better pen then some Kickstarter new to the pen game, but I find it a little too unbelievable Apple could essentially create a first gen Bluetooth product that would be superior to Wacoms own 2nd gen Bluetooth product.

    And how the pen works....it's a little too similar to ES tech for it to really be anything else. The almost trademark "Fish hooks" that can be observed in quick and fast brush strokes in N-Trig and AES devices....can also be found with the Apple Pencil.

    And its quick charging method....of 15 seconds gets 30 minutes of pen power.....that's exactly what N-trig was bragging about for their super cap charged ES pens years back.....which no OEM used.....but Wacoms own AES super cap pens...which is basically the same thing as N-Trig.....have the same super cap charging time.

    If Apple did make the pen completely Bluetooth.....I find it odd it would share so many characteristics with ES tech.

    And the bigger elephant in the room....were the Apple Pencil strickly a Bluetooth pen....then theoretically Apple could extend its use to its entire line, older iPads and iPhones, etc.....at most it would just require an easy firmware update. Given the pencil is an optional accessory.....it just wouldn't make sense for them to limit its usage just to the iPad Pro. Maybe it is all Bluetooth and maybe Apple will just do that down the line.....but until they do, there is nothing to suggest that the iPad Pro does not have a specified controller chip handling the pressure and pen position in the same manner ES pens do.
     
  3. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Here's what the Apple Pencil patents (1, 2) and the iFixit teardown tell us about pressure:
    • The first patent mentions a "first capacitance" (the tip) and "second capacitance" broken-ring side-pointing emitters. Comparing the position of the two capacitances is used to determine the orientation, tilt, and rotation of the pencil. No mention of pressure or Bluetooth.
    • The second patent mentions an accelerometer inside the pencil. The data from the accelerometer is sent via Bluetooth (or WiFi, NFC, etc) and can provide additional information, for example if the pencil has flipped over to the eraser side, or provide more accurate measurements of the motion of the pen for biometric identification of signatures. There's also a pressure sensor which sends data via Bluetooth (or WiFi, NFC, etc).
    Since the second patent mentions sending complementary information through Bluetooth (or WiFi etc), I think it's likely that stroke information is "retrofitted" after the initial rendering of the stroke - the multitouch panel renders what it senses, let's say in 1/60 of a second or 60fps, and then it receives additional information from the pencil every 1/120th of a second via Bluetooth, which gives measurements that are accurate to 1/240 of a second, along with pressure data. The original stroke is then adjusted to be accurate to 1/240 of a second.

    The decision not to make the Pencil backwards compatible could be driven from a desire to make customers upgrade their devices. It could also be because the iPad Pro's multitouch panel's accuracy is much higher than previous multitouch devices, allowing it to accurately discern the shape of the Apple Pencil's touch input.

    Of course I could be wrong because I have no direct information about how the pressure data is communicated from the pencil to the iPad.

    Apple could have gone the N-trig/Wacom way of sending all the data entirely through the touch sensor... but then why would they bother with Bluetooth pairing?

    But I guess this is a little irrelevant to the thread because we already know Wacom sends all the information to the touch panel and interprets it with their special controllers.
     
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  4. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I wonder if anyone can test the BT connection's activity while the pressure works on the pen. It's just pure curiosity at this point than anything else...
     
  5. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    For instance, can you turn off BT on the iPad Pro and still use the Pencil? Or will it stop functioning immediately?
     
  6. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It stops functioning


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I guess that would have been too easy, lol
     
  8. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It does stop functioning immediately.....but that doesn't mean the pen pressure is done via Bluetooth. The Surface Pro 4 pen for example requires an initial Bluetooth pairing before the pen will work on the Pro 4 or 3. The Pro 4 pen will still work when Bluetooth is disabled, but the Surface Pro isn't giving you a constant battery life indication or notifications of the pens battery life like the iPad Pro does.

    The only thing that's really different about the Apple Pencil from EMR or ES tech is how it handles palm rejection/hover. iOS doesn't have a cursor so there is no hovering.....that's a given.....but despite that I would naturally assume the iPad is still registering the pencil at hover range even if it's not showing it by way of the cursor. Like with EMR and ES pens on multitouch screens....usually when the pens cursors is in range, touch is usually disabled......or single finger touch as an option(on android)

    However with the Apple Pencil.....touch isn't impeded at all no matter how close the pencil is to the screen either by theoretical hovering or actual contact. the iPad is still registering the pencil as a single touch point no different from a finger. Where as ES and EMR systems register the pen separate from touch....despite pressure and tilt...the iPad registers the pen as a finger....from a touch perspective anyway.
     
  9. Utan-chan

    Utan-chan Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have a SP2 (EMR) and while the pen is within range, touch is still recognized, just not registered. (which is why you can still use the pen simultaneously with other on-screen hotkey programs such as TouchKey or RadialMenu.)
     
  10. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, EMR is different than AES, N-Trig and Apple Pencil in that it has physically separate digitizer for pen and touch (EMR board under the LCD for pen, projected capacitive layer over LCD for touch), thus much easier in discerning pen vs finger.

    AES, N-Trig and Apple Pencil uses projected capacitive digitizer for both pen and touch. This is why EMR has best palm rejection compared to the rest. Pro Cap based pen solutions takes that extra millisecond or so in discerning whether that new signal it detected is from a pen (with extra juice) or touch via fingers (lower capacitance than the pen). Also can be confused over errand capacitance noise, static electricity, etc...

    But EMR will be abandoned quickly on these mobile devices due to extra costs and added thickness of the EMR board layer.
     
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