Nov 08 AT 12:45 PM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

Android’s touch user experience could be revolutionized by Atmel maXStylus


Who has the industry’s highest performing stylus for tablets and handsets? We have seen a handful of Android devices with stylus accessories, but that number should greatly increase thanks advancements from Atmel and new developer features found in Android 4.0. Atmel is already one of the leaders in capacitive touch solutions on Android devices and the company recently announced maXStylus, an active stylus solution for tablets and smartphones.

We expect the maXStylus will be a nice fit for Android 4.0, which now includes full support for stylus input events. New developer APIs allow events like tilt and distance axes, pressure, and related motion event properties. Android 4.0 also adds distinct tool types for stylus, finger, mouse, and eraser.

The maXStylus family offers “unparalleled human interface” with a new feature called multiSense that provides simultaneous touch and stylus functionality. This allows advanced gestures like zooming in/out while writing and scrolling, page flipping while scrolling, and selecting a tool or content.

Highlights of the maXStylus include:

  • multiSense Functionality – Simultaneous Touch and Stylus Operation: Use Touch While Writing with Stylus to Zoom, Scroll, Erase, Turn the Page and Perform Other Advanced Gestures. Rotate, Move and Zoom into 3D Drawings and Images
  • Excellent Palm Rejection: Write Comfortably with Palm Resting on the Touchscreen Without Erroneous Touches
  • Ultra-Small Tip Diameter of 1mm with Accuracy of +/- 0.25mm: Clearly See What You Are Touching.Imitate the Precision of a Real Pen Tip.
  • Fast Frame Rate of 140Hz: Capture Taps, Double Taps and Other Fast Gestures
  • Pressure Sensing: Capture Pressure Profile of Written Text. Create Stunning Drawings
  • Stylus Technology Supported for Tablets and Handsets: Use the Same Stylus Across Various Devices.

The maXStylus mXTS100 began sampling to lead customers this month and Atmel expects production quantities to ship in the first quarter of 2012.

I have a strong feeling we will be hearing more about the maXStylus when Adobe finally releases Photoshop Touch and their other touch-enabled apps. For an idea of what kinds of user experiences this technology will allow, check out the product demo from Atmel below.

Source: Atmel

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • nportelli

    Now I wish I didn’t get a Flyer. Why is it taking this so long to come out? Price? This is what would make a tablet a useful productivity tool.

  • Dr. Fill

    I am Steve Jobs. You violate our patents.

  • George

    KILL IT!!!

  • frankwhite44

    Nice. Let’s see how iZombies react to Android bringing actual tools to the tablet. This makes a tablet a worthy buy now. Love it!

    • David Warschauer

      or maybe its just that jobs WAS the tool. no but seriously, android is the best mobile operating system. google needs to get off their ass and beef up their tablet support with native active digitizer, palm rejection, handwriting recognition, webocr, and put it all together with logic code built into the gui. if google did that, their productivity, buisness, arts and literature based user would have nowhere else to turn.

  • Dale

    The stylus is the same size as Steve’s tool so of course Apple will sue.

    • Sway_212

      What are you refering to when you say Steve’s “tool”? O_o

  • caffeinedependent

    I intend to use this specifically to color in sports cars that for some reason I chose to render in black & white…

  • http://none max


    Great news. but the point is to know if current tablets are working with the maxStylus technology. On the atmel site, they focus on the “E” maxTouch technology. the mXT1386 runs a lot of tablets (XOOM, ICONIA….). Does it work with the stylus ?

    Bonne nouvelle mais la question reste de savoir si les tablettes actuelles pourront fonctionner avec ce stylet ( technologie MaxStylus). Sur le site ATMEL, ils precisent la compatibilité avec les controleurs MaxTouch serie E. Rien ne précisent si le controleur mXT1368 armant de nombreuses tablettes actuelles (iconia, xoom), pourra faire fonctionner ce stylet ?

  • thechad

    i hope this comes out soon i want it on all my devices

    • thechad

      it would definitely be great on trips for my kids

  • pritams

    it’s insane…

  • ranwanimator

    So is this thing ever going to be released or what?

  • Mount Tamaranch

    The stylus is the difference between tablets and tablet PCs. Between reading and creating content.
    A 10.1″ tablet with an active Stylus (or, in this case, a passive stylus that allows palm resting and has the same precision of an active stylus) can replace pencil and paper in everyday use!
    And a quad-core, ICS tablet with keyboard like the Transformer Prime with a real stylus becomes a real alternative both to a netbook and to a Windows Tablet PC with a Wacom digitizer!
    I want it!

  • Colin

    With my Tranformer Prime, Photoshop Touch and Eye-Fi card, I can do this, mostly. Even though it’s a quad core tablet with 1GB ram, PSTouch still resamples the image to a 1.4MP image. I’ve got a NEX-5 which outputs at 14MP, so that’s pretty intolerable unless I’m doing web only stuff.

    Hopefully the tools will follow the hardware and we’ll see some improvements.

  • Wye Damnit

    I had the chance to use an Atmel stylus at a press event for the new HP ElitePad 900. This is the worst pen experience you can imagine. One of the rubber tip capacitive pens is better than this pen.

    As a disclaimer, I have owned 2 Ntrig powered pc’s & 4 Wacom powered pc’s. There is a huge difference between the writing feeling of the Wacom pen systems & Ntrig based. You don’t have to love Wacom to admit that they have the best pen technology in the world. Atmel shouldn’t have released such a terrible product. If you want the best, you need to vote with your wallet. Buy a Samsung Galaxy Note product that uses a Wacom pen.