With 20 years’ experience creating innovative digital stylus solutions for customers around the world, Waltop knows the challenges of designing an active stylus solution and understands end-user expectations. Waltop was one of the founders of the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) and helped develop and demonstrate the first USI-enabled stylus at the Computex trade show in 2016.
“Waltop’s involvement with USI from Day One was customer-driven,” said Jerry Tang, president, Waltop. “Our customers want an open, standard active stylus specification featuring bi-directional communication with multi-stylus support — what we call “Grab-n-Write” — meaning any USI-enabled active stylus can write on any USI-enabled device. Implementing the USI solution has increased the options and products we are able to offer our customers.”
USI specifications are contributed to and defined by the major touch controller vendors, stylus manufacturers, processor vendors, device manufacturers and brands. The specification’s objective is to maintain interoperability among styluses and devices while offering industry-best performance. According to Tang, standardization with the USI specification is a significant step toward promoting and introducing new technologies to the market. Moreover, an open standard can act as a market accelerator.
USI Is Open, Standard and Active
Apple and Microsoft have their own stylus solutions whereas USI provides an open, standard active stylus alternative. It provides original equipment manufacturers (OEM), independent hardware vendors (IHV) the freedom and flexibility to create unique and innovative solutions for their customers. The USI specification can do this because it is a globally interoperable, high-performance, cross-platform compatible industry standard.
“Waltop’s vision is to bring people extraordinary writing experiences anytime and anywhere. The USI specification is helping us make this vision a reality. We plan to release USI-enabled product in 2019 for multiple customers,” said Tang.
About USI 1.0: First Open, Non-proprietary Active Stylus Specification
The USI 1.0 Specification provides IHVs and OEMs for the first time with an industry standard, non-proprietary, active stylus protocol. It enables the OEM, IHV and software ecosystem to develop a new generation of active styluses that provide consumers a consistent, customizable and interoperable experience across make, model and form-factor.
The USI 1.0 Specification also enables new uses for active styluses, such as multiple styluses operating simultaneously on a single device. The USI specification can be implemented on a wide range of touch-enabled devices, including phones, tablets, computing and entertainment platforms.
About Universal Stylus Initiative
Launched in 2015, Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) is an international 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 such as phones, tablets, and computing and entertainment platforms. 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, as long as each device’s touch controller is compliant with the USI specification.