Even though more and more tablets and smartphones use touch screens, most notebooks and PC monitors have screens that are not made specifically for touch interfaces. Now a new report claims that Microsoft is working on a prototype for a stylus product that, if it goes into production, could be used for most any digital screen, touch sensitive and otherwise.
MIT's Technology Review website reports that the team behind this prototype have developed technology that puts a small camera inside a stylus. That camera can then read the pixels when placed on a display. A wireless connection on the stylus then transmits the information to the PC, much how a wireless mouse works.
If this project comes into its full form, the stylus could, in theory, be used to interact with, for example, a notebook with the Metro UI in Windows 8 even if the notebook doesn't have a touch screen LCD. The biggest obstacle to the project is developing the sensor needed for the stylus. The report states that it would need to have a 512x512 resolution in order to work. By contrast, the image sensor for a wireless mouse works with a 30x30 resolution.
In the meantime, the same team has created a design that would add four radio antennae into the frame of a regular display, which can then read the information from a stylus.
Source: Technology Review