The Universal Stylus Initiative Releases Version 2.0 Of Its Popular Active Stylus Specification

USI 2.0 Products Add NFC Wireless Charging Capability

WAKEFIELD, MA. – February 28, 2022 – The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) unveiled USI Version 2.0 (USI 2.0) of its popular active stylus specification today.  Used in millions of products and standard for Google Chromebooks, the USI specification is the only open standard, active stylus solution allowing a single stylus to be used on multiple touch enabled devices.

With the release of USI 2.0, USI adds several new optional features, including NFC wireless charging capability and support for in-cell display panels.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with USI and Google on the latest USI 2.0 protocol for a new Lenovo pen. It’s a feature Lenovo Chromebook users always tell us they love, and we’re excited about the new benefits it will bring them,” said Benny Zhang, General Manager of Lenovo’s Chromebook Business Unit.

NFC Wireless Charging Using Smartphones Or Other NFC-enabled Devices

USI’s new wireless charging feature is based on the NFC Forum’s Near Field Communication (NFC) Wireless Charging Specification (WLC 2.0).  WLC 2.0 makes it easier and more convenient to charge low-power devices such as wireless earbuds, smart watches and active styluses using smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices at a power transfer rate of up to one watt. It allows for wireless charging by enabling a single antenna in an NFC-enabled device to manage both communications and charging.  There are almost three billion smartphones in use today according to the NFC Forum. An announcement from NFC can be found here.

USI 2.0 also introduced next generation technology for in-cell touch sensors greatly expanding the types and number of products USI 2.0 can be used with.  The new specification also expanded the existing tilt functionality and  upgraded the color pallet from 256 to over 16 million colors creating one of the most natural, true to life inking experiences available.

“USI 2.0 has raised the bar again in the industry and, in the process, is transforming how active styluses are used while providing real benefits to consumers,” said Peter Mueller, chairman, USI.  “Still the only open active stylus standard available, USI 2.0 is blazing another trail with the addition of wireless charging  to the USI solution. Just this new feature alone will change the way active styluses are used enhancing the usability and improving the customer experience.”

About USI 2.0: Open, Non-proprietary Active Stylus Specification

USI 2.0 replaces propriety approaches with a single solution allowing a stylus to be used across a wide range of touch-enabled devices, including phones, tablets, computing and entertainment platforms.  It defines a standard signaling mechanism and communication protocol between a stylus and a touch-enabled device. It features a robust two-way protocol designed from the ground up to support a rich set of base features as well as extensibility for per-vendor customization and future usages.  Wireless charging and improved in-cell support are the latest addition to the USI specification.

Users will be able to use a single USI stylus across all of their USI-enabled devices and any USI stylus shipped with devices will work with other USI-enabled devices, even those from different manufacturers.  An additional benefit of the USI standard is the ability to deliver a consistent stylus user experience across platforms. This consistency and ease-of-use, coupled with interoperability, increases the consumer appeal of an active stylus and is helping proliferate the technology.

About Universal Stylus Initiative (USI)

USI is a global, not-for-profit technology trade association whose mission is to define industry-wide standards for interoperable communication between an active stylus and touch-enabled devices. The USI specification provides for a stylus capable of communicating with different touch sensors and touch controller integrated circuits, so that users can employ the same stylus across numerous touch-enabled devices if each device’s touch controller is compliant with the USI specification.  For more information or to join USI: