With the idea of fostering collaboration in the digital sphere, a Chinese startup has developed a smart stylus that can pick up data from one touchscreen and drop it into another in a fully secure manner.
At a time when the physical world is becoming increasingly connected to the virtual world, to the point where a room can already serve as an interface in its own right, we are still far from seeing interfaces disappear completely from man-machine interactions. But while we wait for that day to come, we can still look forward to being able to interact with a number of different screens, using data extraction and fast, intuitive transfer. Tagtal, a startup based in the Chinese town of Chengdu, has just launched a smart stylus called tStylus which, rather like a chemical dropper, can pick up and then drop data files – e.g. photos, videos and text – from one screen to another, eliminating all the current complex processes of data transmission between electronic devices.
Tactile stylus, easy data transfer
tStylus works using an application which acts like a test file. You use the stylus to select a section of the screen and push on it. The area will blink to show that loading is taking place. The stylus then saves the data on a server which sends back a random specific code, which is now the item’s ID. The phototransistor at the point of the stylus ‘sees’ the loading signal, and records the code. Then, if you want to transfer the item on to another device, all you have to do is touch the second screen with the stylus. As soon as the app recognises the ID code, it will go into drop mode. “Small amounts of data are stored directly on the stylus, the rest in the Cloud,” explains Tagtal founder Linchuan Wang. As for data security: “It would be impossible from a practical point of view to intercept the data at any point in the transfer process, as the information is encrypted instantaneously,” he stresses.
A collaboration aid
Linchuan Wang believes that his digital data dropper will help to streamline the collaborative process and could well transform the way students work. Now that classrooms are going digital, students using tablets in class could extract information directly from the teacher’s large screen, and they could also instantaneously exchange work with classmates when carrying out group assignments. This stylus could also be used to enhance visitor interaction during exhibitions, where visitors could transfer images from one screen to another if they wanted to delve deeper into a particular area of interest. In addition, the tStylus team also envisages embedding this technology in ordinary everyday items such as a pair of gloves.