The Samsung Galaxy Note and its S Pen weren’t designed as a one-off, as Samsung is shooting for a sort of pen interface renaissance hopefully spurred along by the massive Android smartphone. Speaking to a Samsung employee at CES, nothing but nice things were said about the way Samsung was redefining the pen/touchscreen interaction and suggested that the technology could make its way to future Samsung products. It was a sentiment reiterated by product marketing manager Ryan Biden in a conversation with Laptop Magazine.
While many see the pen interface as a remnant of the resistive touchscreen era and early tablet tech, Samsung sees a touchscreen writing utensil as one of several tools to make interacting with Android slates more intuitive. Aside from typical finger-based interactions, Samsung is also looking to natural interfacing via 3D gestures recognized by the tablets front-facing camera. Biden hinted that the features may find their way into the Galaxy Tab lineup, stating, “I think a pen interface continues to make a lot of sense across a number of screen sizes, like the larger is more obvious of those. That’s about as specific as I can be without announcing a product.”
Biden went on to talk a bit about the way that Google has helped to limit “UI fatigue” by unifying their operating system across smartphones and tablets with the introduction of Android 4.0, but says there is still a good deal of work to be done when it comes to unifying the app experience. It sounds like Samsung is aiming for the perfect mix of Android functionality and Apple simplicity, and intuitive user interactions could be one way to meet in the middle. And the best part about using 3D gestures or a pen to control a tablet? Less fingerprints smudging up the screen.