The stylus has been the most preferred method of input for graphic designers, casual doodlers, and many others. The market is flooded with Active Pen styluses and other similar accessories that promise to render the touch of a normal pen and a slate. Creating stuff with a pen comes naturally to us humans as we have been trained to do so right from kindergarten. SonarPen is one such Kickstarter project that aims to change the way we perceive styluses.
Launched by a Hong-Kong based company called GreenBulb, the SonarPen is the first digital stylus that converts audio signals to visual signals by making use of a patented technology that has been developed in-house. Unlike other styluses in the market, the SonarPen doesn’t require Bluetooth connectivity or external batteries to operate. This digital stylus works on all the iPads sold after 2011 and is available at a rather affordable $39 (on Kickstarter).
The SonarPen works by changing the pen strokes into digital sound waves which are then sent to the iPad via the audio cable and the 3.5mm jack. The iPad interprets the sound wave as your writing on the screen. The makers of SonarPen promise that there will be no latency and the response will be instantaneous. In other words, they claim that the digital stylus is capable of shaping up as an extension of the iPad.
The SonarPen can be used for Note Taking, Doodling, Digital Painting, Editing stuff on Adobe Photoshop, Lettering and other artistic needs. Thankfully, the makers of the SonarPen seems to have sorted all the qualms of carrying a digital pen. Firstly the SonarPen comes with a magnetic holder that be attached to the iPad with a 3M double-sided tape and the anti-palm detection ensures that accidental palm touches are not registered. No battery means no charging woes and yes, one less cable to tag along with. As far as third party support is concerned, the pen already supports quite a large number of apps including Zen Brush 2, Animation Desk and ZoomNotes. The SonarPen will be available in black, white, red, blue, purple and neon-green.
As with any other crowdfunding project, you should realize the risks involved and the possible gaps in what’s claimed and what’s delivered. On paper, SonarPen looks like a solid offering.