Hardware makers want to standardize the stylus

— 2:37 PM on April 24, 2015

Styluses are useful for note-taking, doodling, and fine graphics work, but there's no common standard for the underlying technology, so the pens often aren't portable between devices. Fortunately, this inconvenience may be about to change. A new industry standards body, called the Universal Stylus Initiative (or USI), went public yesterday with its mission to "develop and promote an industry specification for an active stylus."

If the USI has its way, phones, tablets, and notebooks with stylus input would all share the same pen and digitizer technology, allowing consumers to buy one stylus and use it on any compatibe device. Intel, Lenovo, Wacom, Dell, and Synaptics are all founding members of the industry body, so there's considerable weight behind the idea already.

The group expects the first version of its standard to be complete in the third quarter of 2015. The spec can't come soon enough.

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