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Wacom's innovative sensor integration enables electronic pen and finger

Wacom announces the world's first sensor technology which allows the user to perform cursor operation and input functions using an electronic pen or their finger. The technology will make its debut installed in Fujitsu's BIBLO NB Series notebook computers as "Flat Point Digitizer", scheduled for April 2006. A Wacom Penabled pen operates without batteries or wires by taking advantage of Wacom's technology in which an electromagnetic signal is sent from a sensor board to a pen and returned for position analysis, pressure sensitivity and other information. The Penabled pen therefore needs no batteries or cords...

PRESS SUMMARY

Wacom's innovative sensor integration enables electronic pen and finger - digital camera and photography newsNewly commercialized technology expands selection of input and operation methods

Wacom Co., Ltd. announced the development of the world's first sensor integration technology and its practical application in the “Penabled DualPad”. Incorporation of the new technology into mobile information devices such as notebook computers allows the user to perform cursor operation and input functions using the Company's electronic pen or their finger. The technology will make its debut installed in Fujitsu's “FMV-BIBLIO NB Series” notebook computers as “Flat Point Digitizer”, scheduled for introduction to the market in April 2006.

The Penabled DualPad technology is the result of integrating an electrostatic sensor similar to those used in notebook computer touch pads, and Wacom's ElectroMagnetic Resonance (EMR) sensor with a controller. This system allows users to perform input operations with an electronic pen or finger using the same touch-pad. With the addition of pen-based input, intuitive device operation and precise character input are now possible. A simple system configuration is achieved by combining the controller and driver, making it easy for set manufacturers to incorporate the technology into their products. Additionally the electronic pen is compatible with the electronic pens of tablet PCs.


Changing Functions

Switching between the electronic pen EMR sensor and the finger sensor of the Penabled DualPad is controlled via the Wacom device driver. As an example, finger movement operates the cursor when the electrostatic sensor is activated. However, when the Wacom electronic pen is brought close to the touch pad, the EMR sensor detects it and the driver switches from the electrostatic sensor to the EMR sensor, allowing the pen to be used for cursor operation and input. When the pen is moved away from the touch pad it is no longer detected by the EMR sensor, subsequently the driver switches back to the electrostatic sensor.


Advantages for Computer Manufacturers

In addition to use with electrostatic sensors, the Penabled DualPad is compatible with the touch sensors of other systems, enabling the electronic pen to be added for combined use. Since the electronic pen sensor can be mounted in the same space as existing touch pads, the pen input function can be incorporated into notebook computers without changing chassis design or mounting other peripheral devices. Once installed, alternative input options such as pen-based input for memos or simple drawings and finger-based input for easy operation with finger-tip control help to improve application use and management. Finally, the Wacom electronic pen does not require batteries or a cord, making it a light, small and convenient input device. As a result, computer manufacturers easily adopt the technology to their systems to create a product lineup with electronic pen functions.


How Penabled Pens Work

Penabled DualPad technology is an application of Wacom's Penabled technology. A Wacom Penabled pen operates without batteries or wires by taking advantage of patented technology developed by Wacom in which an electromagnetic signal is sent from a sensor board to a pen and returned for position analysis, pressure sensitivity and other information. The Penabled pen therefore needs no batteries or cords. It also has the ability to 'hover,' allowing the pen to move the cursor without actually touching the sensor board.
April 19, 2006
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