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explaining how the sPen tech works (and is very diff than other styluses)

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By steveblue, Member on 11th January 2012, 07:20 AM
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Many folks I communicate with keep assuming the Note's sPen is just another phone stylus ( or maybe a slightly tweeked one). In trying to explain the huge difference, and finding that none of the major reviews do it reasonably, I did some fact finding to help explain it (and why it is special) compared to a capacitive stylus. Thought other folks would like the details. Please reply with a more concise explanation if you have it. -steveblue

Briefly:
The Note has a Wacom dual digitizer, a first in a mainstream smartphone. That means is supports both capacitive multi-touch and active pen input from a precise EMR digital pen and a digitizer layer under the screen. Wacom is the world leader in pen based computer technologies and first developed this technology for Tablet PCs for very accurate handwriting level pen use that works with touch displays.

Details:
Almost all other phone styluses are just capacitive and therefore no more accurate than your finger. The Galaxy Note's active pen uses Wacom's EMR patented technology. EMR which stands for Electo-Magnetic Resonance, which requires no internal power to generate a signal on the pen-side that enables the pen coordinates on or above the screen to be detected (the display provides the power rather than the pen). The Note's screen surface incorporates a sensor board that detects the pen's movement. Weak energy is induced in the pen's resonant circuit by a magnetic field generated by the sensor board surface. The pen's resonant circuit then makes use of this energy to return a magnetic signal to the sensor board surface. The digitizer board under the screen detects information on the pen's coordinate position and angle, as well as on its general operating condition including speed and writing pressure, etc.

With EMR Technology, the sensor unit is installed behind the display screen. Because the sensor does not cover the front of the display, the quality and brightness of the displayed image are not compromised.

Wacom's sensors are high precision and high resolution, which together make it possible to detect even small hand-written letters. The sensor traces the movement of the human hand and reproduces such "human" elements as the feel, force and ambivalence of the pen tip.

The dual capacitive multi-touch and EMR active pen technology is called Wacom Feel It and was developed and honed over 2 years on major ( HP, ...) Tablet PCs. The Galaxy Note is the first use in a smart phone.


References ( and more info):

As a somewhat new user I can't put links in - message me for a full set of refs or google 'wacom emr' and 'wacom Feel It'. Note you'll get a llot of PR page but their will be technology details too.


-steveblue
dipaola.org
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11th January 2012, 07:32 AM |#2  
galaxytab1's Avatar
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Your effort here deserves appreciation
11th January 2012, 07:40 AM |#3  
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Thanks for providing this useful information.
11th January 2012, 07:42 AM |#4  
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Thanks for very useful information,

Does display shield (Protect Cover) reduces the accuracy of S Pen...??
11th January 2012, 09:02 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveblue

Briefly:
The Note has a Wacom dual digitizer, a first in a mainstream smartphone. That means is supports both capacitive multi-touch and active pen input from a precise EMR digital pen and a digitizer layer under the screen. Wacom is the world leader in pen based computer technologies and first developed this technology for Tablet PCs for very accurate handwriting level pen use that works with touch displays.



-steveblue
dipaola.org



Are u sure S pen can be use on other capacitive screen? I try this S pen on my htc sensation & it did not function at all

Sent from my GT-N7000 using XDA App
Last edited by naimmkassim; 11th January 2012 at 09:06 AM.
11th January 2012, 05:58 PM |#6  
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The original statement does not mean you can use the sPen with other phones, it means on the Note there is a dual technology employed : 1) capacitive and 2) digital EMR. Sorry for the confusion.
-steveblue
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11th January 2012, 06:05 PM |#7  
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Thanks steveblue. Nicely explained.
11th January 2012, 06:25 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjan.alva

Does display shield (Protect Cover) reduces the accuracy of S Pen...??

Also wanting to know this, from the OP description...seems material between the S-Pen and the screen would cause issues...? I've been noticing some accuracy problems since putting on the SGP screen protector...
11th January 2012, 10:17 PM |#9  
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The lots of wacom pens came in handy after all....
Even my good ol'Gateway pen is working on the Note...actually better than on the Win8...

Also, here you can read about Note's grandparents, 20 years ago ( take that Apple)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Concerto
Last edited by htc9420; 11th January 2012 at 10:21 PM.
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17th January 2012, 09:18 PM |#10  
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So from what i understand the digitizer layer or some other circuit has to be powered all the time to allow the spen to be powered at any time we decide to use it, but, won't that waste away battery during the time the spen is not in use?

If it does waste away battery while the pen is not used then it would be awesome if some dev could check if that circuit could be powered off when we dun need it and only activate it when we intend to use the spen.
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18th January 2012, 12:47 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusivo

So from what i understand the digitizer layer or some other circuit has to be powered all the time to allow the spen to be powered at any time we decide to use it, but, won't that waste away battery during the time the spen is not in use?

If it does waste away battery while the pen is not used then it would be awesome if some dev could check if that circuit could be powered off when we dun need it and only activate it when we intend to use the spen.

either way i do believe that the power for this field is very weak, otherwise (or it may be the case as well) samsungs engineers would have built some switch (soft- or hardware (sensor if pen is out)).
but generally high resonance surface fields (as it would be the one here) wont use much power anyway, so don't worry! it's more like a sensor array which detects EM "disturbances" created by the coil of the pen. pressing the buttons on the pen (eraser also possible and working on the note, but not with stock stylus) just alters this disturbance by shortening some wires of the coil and therefore generate a characteristic "fingerprint".

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