Chromebooks Will Soon Get Improved Stylus Functions with USI 2.0 Standard

USI 2.0 for chromebooks introduced

The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI), an initiative that encourages stylus standardization in the industry, has announced its USI 2.0 open stylus standard for companies to add better stylus functionalities. That means Chromebooks will soon support better drawing and writing capabilities. Here’s a look at what new features it brings.

USI 2.0 Announced: What Does it Mean?

The USI 2.0 standard aims to make third-party styli better in drawing and tilt-shading capabilities for Chromebooks from manufacturers like Google, Acer, HP, and more. It will also improve the wireless charging situation for styli from compatible smartphones and other devices.

The wireless charging capability is based on the latest NFC specifications that allow a universal stylus to wirelessly source charge at 1W from compatible devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. That means more devices would be able to wirelessly charge USI-supported styli. This is similar to how the Samsung S Pen wirelessly charges at the back of the latest Galaxy Tab S8 Models

Another significant change that the USI 2.0 standard brings is support for the technology to work with in-cell screens, which combines the display panel and the digitizer into one thin layer. Other additions include an expanded color palette support for USI styli. Previously, these USI styli supported only 256 colors. However, with USI 2.0, OEMs can develop a stylus to support more than 16 million colors.

For those unaware, the Universal Stylus Initiative started back in 2015 and encourages OEMs to manufacture stylus that will work with compatible products other than theirs† For instance, if you have an Apple Pencil, it will only work with Apple’s iPads and no other third-party device in the market. However, a universal stylus, manufactured as per the USI standard, will work with any compatible device in the market.

While the USI initiative did not gain much traction since its establishment in 2015, it came into the limelight when google joined the initiative in 2018, along with a few other industry giants. So now, the USI 2.0 open stylus standard aims to expand this initiative by adding new features for a better stylus experience on Chromebooks.

These new features will also support digital artists and creators in a better way. What do you think about the new USI 2.0 standard? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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