The stylus is back for smartphones, thanks for the new Samsung Galaxy Note – a combination of a phone and tablet in one.
Since the first iPhone came out, every mobile device manufacturer shifted their development and efforts to having their own line of full-touch screen smartphones, and PDAs.
This surely breaks the overwhelming trend of touch input, which is basically what all the hardware manufacturers are keeping busy with these days. Touch is everywhere – from smartphones, tablets, slates, and even on CNN segments where newscasters use 60 inch screens to show charts and weather maps (I first noticed it in the 2008 Presidential election coverage). What used to be fiction is now a reality, as the transparent touchscreens in The Minority Report (2002) is now available in the market and can even be the kitchen window for those who can afford it.
I think it is a smart move that Samsung brought back the stylus – which is what Palm made popular more than a decade or so ago. Of course the difference now is there’s so much more that you can do on these devices as a result of the literally thousands of apps that are developed each week. The quality of interface, user experience, navigability and flexibility are clearly of a different generation. For the enterprise, it gives yet another compact option of data collection via e-forms on your smartphone
I can imagine a lot of use for enterprise using this new Samsung Galaxy Note, especially for simple enough forms, where you can put in text and number fields, add in some check boxes or buttons, a picklist or two and a signature field. At least now signatures will in fact look like the signatures, because lately, we’ve been playing around with the idea of using our fingertips for signing electronic forms; not exactly quality material if you ask me, as you don’t get that much accuracy on ink strokes with your fingertips. With a stylus, you can sign, sketch, make annotations on images with good detail and precision.
Will others follow suit, or did Samsung make a good call on bringing back the stylus? Personally, I think it is the right move as it gives us, the end users more options – addressing what “just touch” can’t do.