In a move that is sure to excite any artist currently in possession of an iPad (including the one writing this article), Ten One Design on Thursday posted video of a proof of concept showing pressure-sensitive functionality on Apple’s device using the company’s Pogo Stylus. On the downside, Apple’s rules currently prevent the code from making it into shipping apps.
“The iPad is great for sketching and taking notes,” said a Ten One spokesperson in the YouTube technical demonstration, “but it could it be even better if it was able to respond to pen pressure.” In the video, embedded below, the company demos an unreleased iPad version of its Autograph application with built-in pressure sensitivity function.
The pen performs normally at first, then changes line widths depending on how hard the demonstrator pushes on the screen. There is, however, a slight delay between the pen’s movement and the lines drawn on the screen, which Ten One attributes to its “inefficient vector drawing code,” rather than some inherent flaw in either the iPad hardware or the pressure-sensitivity code.
Now, as anyone who’s tried to draw on the iPad with a stylus knows, resting your hand on the iPad while writing can often turn into a disaster, with unwanted lines cropping up from an accidental brush or touch. Ten One claims to have developed a solution for this problem as well. The company refers to it as “palm rejection,” which will force an app to recognize the stylus, but not your palm or your finger.
Ten One Design says it would be happy to release these capabilities as a free software library for all developers to download and incorporate into their programs, but the information used in both pressure sensitivity and palm rejection involves the use of private frameworks, which Apple does not allow.
The company is still hoping Apple will update iOS’s existing UIKit framework to allow public access to the necessary information, but for now, pressure-sensitivity remains nothing more than a proof of concept. Perhaps a bunch of artists need to band together and plead the case to Steve Jobs.