Anyone want to take on a hardcore iPad hack???

Discussion in 'iPad Hacking' started by texaslonghorn, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. texaslonghorn
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    texaslonghorn iPF Novice

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    I am not a software/app guy so I have no idea if this is even possible in the confines of the iPad device itself, but...

    Anyone interested in - or think it is possible - to hack the touch screen logic controller? Being able to mod that would allow users to have a much wider selection for styli. And there are many many iPad users who would appreciate the flexibility.
  2. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont see what value this would add...
  3. texaslonghorn
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    texaslonghorn iPF Novice

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    Well Mike, you don't seem to agree with any of my inquiries or uses related to the iPad. I am beginning to wonder if you are an Aggie....:D

    While you may not see the use of this, many folks do. You can see many such comments for yourself here in ipadforums.net.

    I personally use my iPad for my work, which involves taking many many pages of handwritten notes and some sketches, handwritten tables, graphs and the like. For me - and many other folks - this is best done with a stylus rather than a finger. Using an imprecise stylus - or one where I don't really know where the tip is going to be registered on the - creates problems. As one example, try taking a full page of notes with your regular handwriting style, but use standard fat tip magic marker. That gives you some idea.

    Even though the size of the pen tip image can be adjusted to a very fine line in the app itself, the fat tip of the stylus (combined with the iPad's need to register a large surface area for a valid sensor input) frequently places the electronic image of the pen tip in a place other than where it needs to be to make a letter. Imagine writing a capital "E" of "F" and having it end up looking like nothing more than a vertical line that may or may not have the associated horizontal line elements of the letter. Makes it pretty hard to understand what you have written. And for me accuracy has an increased importance as my notes are many times used for attorney-client privileged matters and may be subject to legal review.

    Current commercial styli cause a lot of these problems, plus tend to require far more downward pressure as you write than you normally use with a pen and paper. My homemade styli have been successful at reducing the tip size about 50% and working using my normal downward pressure when writing. But the tip size is still too bulky and registers imprecisely on the screen.

    I realize that you are very knowledgeable about the apps and operating system of the iPad - far more than I ever will. But I don't know if you have the same depth of understanding of the hardware engineering. If you do, then you already know about capacitive sensing and the control logic/circuitry and understand that the effectiveness of the stylus is really driven by the programmable current source, a precision analog comparator, and an analog bus that sequences through the array of capacitive sensors. These are all programmed specifically for the intended use and in Apple's case is proprietary and must be hacked to change.

    I know of at least one company that is almost ready to launch what they hope to be a stylus-based solution, but in my discussions with them they seem to have found a proof-of-concept that reduces the tip even more than mine, but still not to the level they are targeting.

    I hope someone out there has the expertise and interest to look into this.
  4. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    While I understand the whole jailbreaking paradigm, there reaches a point at which the hardware is what it is and no amount of "hacking" will make it do something it wasn't designed for. It amazes me sometimes how some people will do no research about a product before they buy it and then are shocked and surprised that it won't do something they want it to do when it was never designed to do that in the first place.
  5. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There is already a company that has made a app that detects the suface area of the stylus to thicken the line when pressing harder with the stylus.

    They have made the technique available to apple asking to allow them to use it in apps they send to the app store or at least include it in iOS for all apps.

    apple hasnt said anything about it yet.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgTcyjzXfTg[/ame]
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  6. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    I like that!
  7. texaslonghorn
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    texaslonghorn iPF Novice

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    Mike - thank you for the TenOne info. While that is not exactly what I am looking for, I think the input sensing logic behind that app may provide some benefit for what I seek. I have already contacted them and look forward to hearing from them.
  8. XT2_User
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    XT2_User iPF Noob

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    Capacitive stylus

    Do a google search for "N-trig" ( I would post the link but new members can't post links...)

    They have a battery powered capacitive stylus that works on Win 7 slates and tablet PCs.

    OK - who on here can hack the touchscreeen software/firmware to pick up the signals from this pen ? :)

    I want to take notes on my iPad, dammit !
  9. lowis5
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    lowis5 iPF Noob

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    Hi,
    I think that it would be a very useful hack and I'm very interested in learning about hacking the screen so that the original screen resolution (I believe 320 dots per inch?) is used. My motivation, like you, is to be able to take notes on it with more precision. I quickly built a stylus like the one by kobausks in his video (iPad_φ(-_-Transparent Pen Movie6 (English) (New)) in youtube (the forum won't let me post links yet) and it works really good, I can imagine how much better it would be if we could change the screen resolution.
    Please let me know if you have any information or if you'd like to work on it. Unfortunately I don't have experience with the hardware nor software but I'll give it a try.
    Thanks.
  10. f4780y
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    f4780y Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't hold out for this guys. AFAIK the limitation is the capacitive screen technology. They are made to be prodded by fingers. You can't get it down to per pixel accuracy because it cant register reliably at that resolution. Maybe someone can proove me wrong?

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