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Intel to Announce a New Stylus Alliance & Standards in February


Last year Apple filed for ten smart pen related patents and earlier this month a rumor surfaced from a prominent analyst claiming that Apple was aiming to introduce a smart pen accessory for Apple's 12" + iPad Pro later this year. On Wednesday Microsoft introduced a new digital whiteboard display system for the enterprise called the Surface Hub that accepts input with a Surface pen working in sync with their OneNote software. Their digital pen was emphasized in their Surface Hub patent that we reported on yesterday. Today there's news that Intel is forming a new Stylus alliance that will be formally announced in February. The first standards-compliant stylus is set to roll out in Q3. It's sure beginning to look as if 2015 will be the year that the stylus of old undergoes its biggest overhaul to date.


It's being reported today in Taiwan that Intel recently invited several touch sensor IC designers to form an alliance, looking to establish a specification standard for stylus to make the input device usable across different mobile devices including the tablet, notebook and smartphone, according to sources from IC designers.


The alliance's first product is expected to launch in the third quarter, the sources said.


Since every IC designer has its own stylus specifications currently, a unified standard will allow users to use their styluses across different products as well as brands.


The sources believe Intel's move is aiming to strengthen its 12-inch 2-in-1 devices' competitiveness and chip designers including Atmel, Synaptics and Elan Microelectronics (EMC) have all been invited.


In addition to IC designers, Asustek Computer and Intel-invested stylus maker Waltop (who owns over 200 stylus related patents) have also been invited to the alliance. Intel plans to announce the members of the alliance and a draft of the standard in February at the earliest and the official platform will start operating in April or May.


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