Monday, January 26, 2015

Apple to Launch Hardware Stylus – Enhance User Experience of iPad

According to reports from KGI Securities, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is likely to launch a hardware stylus to enhance user experience for its long rumoured 12.9 inch `iPad Pro’. It is reported that the Cupertino based company is planning to launch a stylus in the second quarter of the year to compliment the larger iPad. Kuo is of the belief that users would not need the stylus initially, thereby prompting Apple to launch the device as an optional add-on.

The report considers that the stylus would be simple to begin with and the future generations of the device could add features such as 3D handwriting. The stylus would be using the Lightning connector to charge and wireless charging would be a much more convenient option for consumers though adding the feature would probably increase the overall cost of the devices. Moreover the device is like to give rise to new breed of application especially for artists as well as for the educational market and the company has now filed for various patents with regards to the stylus which includes a stylus enabling users to transcribe handwritten notes to digital notes which could be viewed and edited from an iPad.

3D Handwriting Feature for Future Models 

Kuo states that the stylus could be more precise than a person’s finger and more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases and believes that Apple’s stylus would improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad. Moreover, Kuo who has a reliable track record, on predicting Apple’s future product direction, did not indicate any particular source for the rumour beyond Apple’s own patent filings which marks an unusual turn for him, who is known to have close connection to Apple’s supply chain partners.

He commented that coupled with its unfavourable cost structure, high selling prices could turn consumers off, if the said iPad is always bundled with it and therefore it is expected that the stylus should be an optional accessory before sufficient feedback is received from users. Though he does not expects features like a built-in gyroscope or accelerometer in its first year, he believes that Apple would be adding new features gradually and is expecting a 3D handwriting feature to their future models.

Good Application for Stylus

According to Kuo, he states that with the addition of a gyroscope accelerometer to a stylus, it enables users to write on the display as well as on other hard surfaces and even in the air. This being a good application for a stylus, the required software and hardware has not been fully developed yet and hence they cannot expect Apple’s stylus to support 3D handwriting in 2015.

He further added that while wireless charging would also be convenient, there was less likelihood of its implementation in its forthcoming stylus with regards to the higher cost as well as difficult antenna design and that charging could be expected via a Lightning connector. He believes that the stylus would be improving the user experience and that they would help Apple in developing specific customer groups like the corporate sector as well as the educational institutions.

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