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Nvidia Demos DirectStylus Capabilities for Tegra 4 Tablets

During Computex 2013 in Taipei, Nvidia demonstrated a new technology supported by Tegra 4 that seemingly competes with standalone graphics tablets provided by Wacom, Genius and others.

According to Nvidia, DirectStylus technology allows a Tegra 4 tablet owner to draw lines of different widths by using a fine-tip passive conductive stylus and different amounts of pressure. Thus the combination filters out the user's palm and fingertips, and replicates the natural ease of writing and erasing on paper.

"Nvidia DirectStylus technology applies the image-processing power of Tegra 4’s GPU to analyze data from a standard touch sensor and recognize the difference between fine-tip stylus, finger, eraser and palm," the company said in a blog on Tuesday. "Users can write on the screen using a simple passive pen and its opposite end can be used like an eraser, whose unique touch pattern can be differentiated from drawing strokes."

Current passive tablet styluses are annoyingly fat, generally consisting of 5 mm tips that are typically only good for tapping the screen and perhaps generating uninspiring sketches in Draw Anything. Different stroke angles and line widths are handled by the app itself, thus making the drawing process difficult especially in Asian markets where line strokes of continually varying width are required.

"Active 1.5 mm styluses on the market that are capable of making strokes of varying width typically require a dedicated digitizer and cost at least $20," Nvidia said. "In contrast, the DirectStylus solution is an inexpensive passive conductive stylus."

The company said DirectStylus works in conjunction with Direct Touch 2.0 technology which supports up to 300 scans a second, five times the typical 60 Hz touch scan rate. This allows DirectStylus to capture more detailed movement of the stylus for smooth ink and fine tip movement.

In related Computex news, Nvidia said on Tuesday that it received its fifth consecutive Best Choice Award thanks to Shield landing the top Golden Award in the smart handheld category. The company also received a special Media's Choice Award stemming from votes submitted by the editorial staff of local publications.

"The judges praised Nvidia Shield as a highly differentiated handheld game console for open platforms that 'effectively integrated videos, media and games with smart power consumption' and sporting a design that is 'very eye-catching and highly fashionable,'" the company said.