Good news for designers and artists – Microsoft has patented a haptic feedback system for the Surface Pen, which will make drawing on the screen a much more tactile experience.
According to the patent (opens in new tab), the pen's tip will retract when pressed against the screen, compressing a coil that will act as an electromagnet and cause movement inside the pen's housing.
The haptic feedback could be initiated by pressure applied on the tip of the Surface Pen, the angle at which it's tilted, its velocity, any buttons that are selected, and input from the Surface device itself (icons and links on the screen, for example).
Haptic feedback a natural addition, particularly for the Surface Studio – Microsoft's enormous touchscreen drafting table
It's very different to the tactile approach Apple is currently investigating (opens in new tab), which involves finely textured glass that feels smooth under the user's fingertip, but noticeably rougher against the fine tip of a stylus.
Apple has been investigating haptic feedback since 2012, when it patented a design for a stylus (opens in new tab) that used a speaker to generate vibrations, but it has yet to incorporate anything similar into the Apple Pencil.