Hacking the touch input

Discussion in 'iPad Hacking' started by DanFessler, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. DanFessler
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    DanFessler iPF Noob

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    I'm a professional artist in the video games industry and I have a fairly simple question for the iDevice hacking community. I'm unsure if this is the best place to ask the question, so if it is not, please direct me to a more appropriate forum.

    As an artist, the concept of being able to draw on the screen is of huge value. There are several technologies that try to realize this concept including some tablet PC's and wacom's cintiq series - however often times these solutions are either too bulky for every-day casual use (I'm not going to lug a laptop and a cintiq with me on a bus to sketch for a while) or is not catered to the artist at all - leaving us to just "make due."

    When the iPad came out, it excited many artists at the possibility of having a casual every-day digital sketchbook. However the excitement was soon replaced with disappointment when we learned there would be no support for wacom-like digitizing pens. Yes, you can paint with your finger, but honestly it will never replace working with a pen. Some companies tried to solve the problem. Many "soft-tip" capacitive touch pens were made, but they are no better than using a finger and wear out fast. Some "rubber-top" capacitive touch pens were made, which are definitely better, but is still bulky and far from precise. What is *really* needed is a hard-tip, fine-point, capacitive touch pen. Why can't we have that? There is a hilarious amount of videos of people making DIY solutions to get this, but all are pretty silly.

    Here is one example:
    youtube.com/watch?v=p0PmCz3m_ZM

    Here is the problem; The iPad ignores any capacitive touch that is too small to be considered a finger touch. So it got me thinking - is this something that can be hacked around through jailbreaking the ipad? If it could, then a hard-tip fine-point capacitive touch pen is certainly an easy possibility and many artists alike would be insanely happy.
  2. EpiciPad
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    EpiciPad iPF Novice

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    You will never be able to use a hard-tip pen on the iPad. If you want a pen to use you can browse for some online or at a store like Best Buy. But as far as a fine-point capacitive touch pen there is nothing.
  3. DanFessler
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    DanFessler iPF Noob

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    there is indeed hard-plastic capacitive material. It exists. Also, the video shows one way to get a hard tip pen to work on ipad through use of conductive metal material.
  4. Fordrus
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    Fordrus iPF Noob

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    Forgive the thread necro, I just finished re-inserting some wires in my lovely but impossible hp Tm2, and my interest in the iPad was renewed many times because of this latest hardware malfunction of my PC laptop, and my recent acquisition of an iPhone 4, coming from a Motorola Droid. It's true what they say about Apple's stuff- it just fricking WORKS!

    Okay, so here's the beef, my understanding is that the problem with the iPad's capacitive input is that the areas of sensation are too far apart to use a capacitive point. Apple's own patents indicate this- they have a stylus or two in the works (that may never see the light of day, especially while our e'steve'd colleague Jobs remains in force).

    Regardless, as some point, I'd love to try and mock something up that would work like you say- I use an HP Tm2 for my note-taking and art needs, and while that's nice, the iPad is- well- let's just say my recent iPhone purchase has converted me to the apple magic in many powerful ways.

    It would be HUNDREDS of man-hours worth of work to figure this stuff out, especially because attaching finer areas of sensation, or even a wacom sensory layer, would require HARDCORE software solutions, and while I'm certain it's possible- snagging a modbook would almost certainly be cheaper, especially, but not only, in terms of time.

    Now, ahm, I'm babbling a lot here. Like I say, all these things are possible, but none are cost-effective. I suggest the DAGI stylus- it is a capacitive stylus with a clear plastic disc on the tip, with a red dot in the center, where the panel senses the input. I haven't -yet- tried this myself, but is sure looks to be an excellent addition to the iPad. Numerous brush-style styluses could also be excellent for your sketchbook needs. Then apple will hopefully make a few of its own patented stylus, and we'll all be golden, insofar as we can be. :)

    That said, if I ever find the time and gain some additional needed expertise, hacking together an iPad with fine capacitive input is a challenge I would relish.
  5. Thphilli
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    Thphilli iPad Enthusiast

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