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Microsoft has applied for a patent for a new Surface Pen with some additional nifty features which would make the accessory somewhat more useful.
The principal innovation is being able to control the cursor by writing on the wrist rest of your Surface Keyboard, which is more comfortable than reaching up to the screen, and allows more precise cursor control vs the 1:1 control via the touch screen.
Microsoft also imagines including an optical sensor or camera in the pen, allowing users to control a cursor or presentation at a distance. Microsoft has patented a feature where removing the pen from the screen would change the pen’s positioning control from electrostatic to some short-range wireless technology such as Bluetooth. The optical sensor, would, like a mouse, also allow the pen to write on any surface such as a desk.
With the Pen now acting as a proxy for an actual mouse, it could make accessory redundant, which is good news for travellers.
Read more about the invention at PatentlyMobile here.