Skip to main content

Microsoft applies for patent on 3D electromagnetic stylus

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft has applied for a patent on a technology related to a 3D electromagnetic stylus. According to Tom’s Hardware, a stylus of this nature would work by recognizing specific configurations of electromagnetic fields in a display device. The fields would be created by a set of transmitting coils underneath the screen. The stylus’ presence in the electromagnetic field would be translated and sent to the display, which would be able to analyze the data and know the exact positioning of the pen. 

The principles at work are similar to those found in a 3D mouse, but Microsoft’s paperwork for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office did not include any examples of specific uses for the 3D data input stylus. The most obvious use would be for collaborating on business teams in different locations. In that situation, the stylus would allow a remote employee to still be active in working and brainstorming with teammates. There isn’t as clear a need for casual users, but it’s entirely possible that Microsoft will be cooking up something amazing in the next few years with this technology.

Different takes on 3D tech have been receiving extra attention among the forward-thinking. Use of 3D in movies has finally become less of a craze, but 3D printing is a field continuing to make large and fascinating strides. And of course, this hypothetical stylus isn’t Microsoft’s first 3D rodeo either. The Kinect, which has the same principle of using 3D data input, was one of the earliest and most successful motion controllers. In the Kinect’s case, the sensors are picking up a human body instead of a stylus. So even though there aren’t any definite applications of a 3D stylus yet, you can bet that the creative people who can turn the Kinect into a Holodeck or a modern art piece will find fun things to do with it.

Image via hfng/Shutterstock

Editors' Recommendations

Anna Washenko
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Anna is a professional writer living in Chicago. She covers everything from social media to digital entertainment, from tech…
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D vs. Intel Core i9-13900K: only one choice for PC gamers
AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D inside of its packaging.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Intel Core i9-13900K are undoubtedly two of the best processors you can buy, but they aren't equal. We threw both of the CPUs on the test bench to answer the age-old question: is AMD or Intel better?

Based on our testing, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D wins this bout, mostly on the back of the excellent gaming performance AMD's 3D V-Cache technology brings. Intel's Core i9-13900K still holds up, particularly in productivity apps, but Team Red takes the win this time around.
Pricing and availability

Read more
AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D pricing keeps the pressure on Intel
A hand holding AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor.

AMD announced pricing and availability for its upcoming Ryzen 9 7950X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and Ryzen 7 7800X3D on Tuesday. The two Ryzen 9 chips arrive on February 28, while the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is arriving later on April 6. More importantly, though, the flagship doesn't come with a price increase.

Ryzen™ 7000 Series Processor with AMD 3D V-Cache™ Technology Pricing and Availability

Read more
AMD may have just leaked the Ryzen 9 7950X3D release date
A hand holding AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor.

AMD may have confirmed the release date of the hotly-anticipated Ryzen 9 7950X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and Ryzen 7 7800X3D, but it doesn't look intentional. According to OC3D, AMD briefly published a launch date of February 14 for its new processors.

The launch date has since been removed from all listings on AMD's website, so this was probably a slip-up. However, February 14 isn't out of the question. AMD confirmed when announcing the processors that they would arrive in February.

Read more