At Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan today, Nvidia showed off DirectStylus. This technology, powered by company's Tegra 4 processor, allows mobile devices to make better use of passive (i.e. cheaper) styluses. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed the tech off on-stage by writing his name using Chinese characters on a Tegra 4-based mobile device.
Detailed on the Nvidia blog (opens in new tab), DirectStylus uses the Tegra 4's GPU to analyze data from standard touch sensors and recognize when the screen is touched by a stylus, your finger, a stylus eraser and your palm. Essentially, users can interact with Tegra 4-based mobile devices with any old stylus, and the gadget will know the difference through DirectStylus.
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Better yet, this technology also allows Tegra 4 GPUs to recognize pressure, meaning users can draw lines of varying width based on the pressure applied with the stylus--no software required. Nvidia says that styluses with this capability require dedicated digitizers and cost at least $20. If anything, this is one more bullet point for the incoming onslaught of Tegra 4-powered Android devices.