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Microsoft’s Surface Pen a very useful accessory, especially for those who need to take a lot of notes or for someone who loves doing digital art or sketching. Besides inking capabilities, the Surface Pen offers some other cool features, including the ability to launch OneNote just by a simple click on the eraser button, so in that sense, it’s a multi-functional stylus!
The good news is Microsoft is exploring ways to expand the capabilities of Surface Pen to make it a truly multi-functional stylus. The company recently filed a patent titled ‘Multi-functional stylus’ and was first published by USPTO on July 23. Microsoft’s patented stylus uses an optical sensor, which can be configured to track the movement of the stylus when it is positioned horizontally on a non-touch surface. It can also detect two-dimensional movement on the surface (palm rest area). The optical sensor serves another purpose and that is to provide improved mouse functionality.
The optical sensor may provide mouse functionality. In some example embodiments, the optical sensor is configured to track movement both while the stylus is positioned horizontally on a surface and while the stylus is positioned in a writing orientation. Optionally, the stylus additionally includes buttons for right mouse click and left mouse click and a sensing strip to control scrolling and thereby provide full mouse emulation.
The optical sensor is not the only exciting thing about the patented stylus. Additional buttons for right mouse click and left mouse click, a sensing strip that can be used to control scrolling to provide full scrolling experience are what make the stylus more appealing.
It’s worth noting that this is just a patent, meaning there is a possibility that the patented stylus will never be materialized. So, this Microsoft patent doesn’t confirm that the company will launch a multi-functional stylus for its Surface devices.