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Universal Stylus Initiative Releases Breakthrough Specification 1.0

The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) marked a technological and market breakthrough today with the announcement of the availability of the USI 1.0 Stylus and Device Specification. Over 30 global companies were involved in the development of the USI 1.0 Specification.

The USI 1.0 Specification provides independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the first time an industry standard, non-proprietary, active stylus protocol. This solution will enable the OEM, IHV and software ecosystem to develop a new generation of active styluses that provide consumers a consistent, customizable and interoperable experience across make, model and form-factor. The USI 1.0 Specification also enables new usages for active styluses, such as multiple styluses operating simultaneously on a single device. The USI Specification can be implemented on a wide range of touch-enabled devices, including phones, tablets, computing and entertainment platforms.

Approximately 259 million tablets will ship in 2016 according to Gartner, Inc. Most of those tablets will be active-stylus-capable and ship bundled with a stylus. Touch Display Research predicts that active-stylus market revenue will double from nearly $3 billion in 2016 to almost $6 billion over the next four years.

The development of USI 1.0 Specification was a collaboration among several companies including multinational OEMs (Dell Inc.; HP Inc.; Lenovo Group Ltd.), as well as silicon and component providers (Atmel/Microchip Corporation; Cirque Corporation; Hanvon Technology Co., Ltd.; Intel Corporation; Sharp Corporation; Synaptics Inc.; Wacom Co., Ltd.; Waltop International Corporation). Sharp Corporation, Hanvon Technology Co., Ltd and Waltop International Corporation recently demonstrated a working implementation of the USI 1.0 Specification. (Watch the video).

"Our goal was to have a single, universal stylus capable of operating with all the devices that a consumer owns or uses in the workplace. The USI 1.0 Specification achieves this goal. It replaces multi-protocol, propriety approaches with a single solution for the entire marketplace to use." said Peter Mueller, chairman, USI. "The USI 1.0 Specification was developed with input and broad support from key industry players. Their close involvement will help ensure its rapid marketplace acceptance and implementation."

About the USI 1.0 Stylus and Device Specification
The USI 1.0 Specification defines a standard signaling mechanism and communication protocol between a stylus and a touch-enabled device. The 1.0 Specification features a robust two-way protocol designed from the ground up to support a rich set of base features including multiple, simultaneous styluses as well as extensibility for per-vendor customization and future usages.

Users will be able to use a single USI stylus across all of their USI-enabled devices and any USI stylus shipped with devices will work with other USI-enabled devices, even those from different manufacturers. Additionally, the USI 1.0 Specification also provides the capability to use multiple styluses from different manufacturers on a single device. This is a breakthrough capability and industry-first enabled by the USI 1.0 Specification.

An additional benefit of the USI standard is the ability to deliver a consistent stylus user experience across platforms. This consistency and ease-of-use, coupled with interoperability, increases the consumer appeal of an active stylus and will help proliferate the technology.

About Universal Stylus Initiative
Launched in 2015, Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) is an international not-for-profit technology trade association whose mission is to define industry-wide standards for interoperable communication between an active stylus and touch-enabled devices such as phones, tablets, and computing and entertainment platforms. The USI specification provides for a stylus capable of communicating with different touch sensors and touch controller integrated circuits, so that users can employ the same stylus across numerous touch-enabled devices, as long as each device’s touch controller is compliant with the USI specification.

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