The design and performance of Surface Pen: An Engineer’s tour


We continue our Microsoft Mechanics engineering focus, with a concise but revealing tour of the ergonomic design and performance of the latest Surface Pen with Director of Program Management, Vineet Thuvara.

As Vineet explains, the new Surface pen is designed to deliver a natural and comfortable experience for writing and drawing in the digital domain while also offering a clickable and convenient way for you to interact with your applications. This resulted in some fascinating and unique engineering challenges that required the team to solve for seemingly contradictory goals such as making the tail end of the pen tactile enough to perform and feel like an erasure, yet functional as a clickable button with enough force to fire capable of launching applications. Delivering a natural experience, also augmented the focus on building an intelligent pen that would always be ready for use. The outer casing of the pen in fact, conceals a sophisticated motion activated power management approach. A tiny accelerometer detects and fires up the pen when in motion and extends the battery life of the Pen's standard AAAA battery, by placing the pen to sleep while not in use. This makes the pen battery capable of lasting up to 12-18 months of regular usage.

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These are just some of the highlights of today's demo bench with Vineet Thuvara, which also covers the top application interaction scenarios for the pen, Bluetooth pairing and the first use experience. We hope that you like it. You can also watch the full Microsoft Mechanics series on the design and management of Surface devices here.


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