Microsoft's Surface Pen is probably the best stylus on the market. Yes, considering its huge functionality, we can hear Surface fans groaning at calling the pen a stylus. Either way, it is a triumph of technology wrapped in a small package. A new patent from Microsoft adds a new strap accessory to the Surface Pen, making it more useful.
While the patent shows a simple strap for holding the pen to a Windows 10 device, it has another purpose. It also provides another charging method for the Surface Pen, as shown in the image below.
The small strap connects to a USB port on a device to hold the Surface Pen in place. While connected in this manner, the wire will provide charge to the Pen while plugged in.
Surface Pen Strap Summary
In its filing, Microsoft summarizes the Surface Pen strap: “Inductive peripheral retention device techniques are described. In one or more implementations, an apparatus includes a plug configured to removably engage a communication port of a device to form a communicative coupling with the device. The plug is securable to and removable from the device using one or more hands of a user. The apparatus also includes a peripheral securing portion connected to the plug and configured to removably engage a peripheral device via an inductive element formed as a flexible loop and configured to form a communicative coupling between the peripheral device and the device.
In one or more implementations, inductance is detected of a flexible element configured to transfer power to a peripheral device via inductance. Responsive to a determination that the detected inductance is above a threshold, a first power mode is utilized in which a first amount of power is provided to the flexible element. Responsive to a determination that the detected inductance is below a threshold, a second power mode is utilized in which a second amount of power is provided to the flexible element that is less than the first amount of power.”
As always, we caution that these patents may not necessarily be put into production. Sometimes, to stop other companies developing similar tech, Microsoft will cover its bases with a patent. However, when it is a small implementation like this, there is more of a chance it will be made.
In other words, this is not an expansive new technology that pushes boundaries, so we expect to see it eventually.