The vast majority of phones now available on the market come with a touch screen, rather than a T9 keypad like phones have used for the past few decades. This helps add extra functionality, such as multi touch gestures in the operating system, but presents one big problem: you have to use your fingers.
I’m typing this article on the capacitive touch enabled Apple iPad, but I couldn’t be doing that if I was wearing gloves, because the touch screen wouldn’t respond to my touch. If you live in a cold country (hell, even England gets pretty cold in the winter for me), then this makes it awkward to use your touch screen phones, especially outside.
This is why the Pogo Sketch Stylus was invented… It looks like an ordinary pen, comes in a number of different colours, and has a special material at the end instead of a nib, which allows it to interact with capacitive touch screen displays.
I was so intrigued by the stylus that I decided to buy myself one, and have since been trying it out on a number of phones, such as the Nexus One and the Dell Streak, as well as the iPad to see how it performs.
The stylus is similar in size to an average ballpoint pen – just a little bit shorter due to the lack of a nib at the end – and has even been designed like a pen with a clip on the top so you don’t have to worry about losing it with all that rubbish in your pockets.
After much deliberation, I can only describe the material at the end of the stylus as ‘spongy’. When looking at the renderings of the device on the TenOne design website, the end appears to be more solid than it actually is, when in actual use it’s more like a sponge, eventually becoming flatter and flatter as you use it, although it does eventually regain it’s original form. This shouldn’t be a problem for most users, but if you tend to write at an angle like I do, just make sure that you don’t scratch your screen by pressing to hard with the stylus and attempting to write or draw with the hard exterior! Luckily I avoided this by noticing the material depress when in use, but just pay extra attention here.
When using the stylus, it proved to be particularly useful with the various drawing applications that are available for both iOS and Android. It may be fun doodling with your fingers, but when you’re looking for precision, a stylus is really the only way to go – especially you’re looking to do pressure sensitive drawing on the iPad, this could be something possible in the future. I found text input to be comfortable enough for extended use on a smaller screen, even on the Dell Streak, but it can become understandably uncomfortable to be typing away with a stylus on the iPad’s larger keyboard.
The uses of the Pogo Sketch Stylus are infinite as long as you have a touch screen phone and cold hands, although if the creators are looking to improve on the current design, I would certainly recommend making the material at the end of the stylus tougher so it didn’t depress so easily during use. Nevertheless, the stylus has certainly got me out of a few cold situations already, so it’s a tool that I will certainly be keeping handy as we approach the Winter months.
Have you been looking for a stylus device to use with your iPad or touch screen phone? Or would you rather bare the cold without gloves or perhaps use the Etre Touchy Gloves so you can carry on tapping away with your fingers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!