Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Pen

Creating the next generation of tablet stylus

A slip of the scalpel can be unforgiving in even the most skilled surgeon’s hands. To complement this tool that has not changed much since ancient times, there is a need for technologies that allow us to explore the intricacies of the human body—even before we pick up the scalpel. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Digital Pen is designed to provide professionals, like surgeons, a revolutionary new tool to map objects in 3D and assess critical data points before making a critical cut or an irreversible move.

Working like a stylus in medical applications and beyond, the innovative Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Pen allows the user to control movements in and out of objects, rotate them in 3D, and click to take a ‘snapshot’ of critical points and record comments. It utilizes ultrasound technology to go beyond the screen and work across external surfaces. GlobalLogic was tasked with taking this amazing new technology, the ability to inspect objects with a 3D orientation, to create a meaningful product with identifiable end users.

Product

The Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Pen represents the next generation of the stylus popular with tablet devices. With the size and feel of a regular pen, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Pen gives users control in three dimensions. With it in hand, users can hover over content and click on selected areas to capture and record data.

The tracking orientation of the pen’s position extends approximately 40 centimeters, or 1.5 feet from a screen or tablet. This distance-based tracking is designed to accurately measure the coordinates of a nearby object. The pen features a hardware button that users can customize to control their pressure on a tablet, screen or paper surface.

Technology

The tablet device uses ultrasound technology, to communicate with the digital pen. Two ultrasonic transmitters relay the pen’s position and axis of rotation, which is picked-up by the integrated microphones in the tablet to triangulate the pen. These capabilities were introduced as part of the Snapdragon 805 chipset.

GlobalLogic developed an Android application that illustrates how the Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Pen can be used to navigate and annotate content.

Process

GlobalLogic collaborated with the Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) engineering team from the project’s inception, exploring capabilities that could be integrated into the product design. The entire process was fast-tracked with a goal of demonstrating the product at the Mobile World Congress just four weeks away.

The seamless collaboration between QTI and GlobalLogic’s engineering teams in the Ukraine, San Jose, and San Diego made the accelerated timetable possible. The teams were driven by the concept that exploration leads to innovation and amazing products.