Google joined the Universal Stylus Initiative (short for USI) in hopes that more manufacturers would join and adopt the protocol. USI announced version 2.0 today, which comes with several new features that will make the stylus pen experience significantly better on future Chromebooks.
9to5Google highlights that the best new feature in the USI 2.0 protocol is the new wireless charging technology that is possible thanks to Near Field Communication (NFC) Wireless Charging Specification (WLC 2.0) standard. This technology will allow USI styluses to charge via an NFC-enabled device at a rate of one watt. This will be a massive difference, as the current generation of USI pens can only be charged via USB-C, or AAAA batteries.
The new USI 2.0 will also improve the tilt functionality and significantly upgrade the color pallet from 256 to over 16 million colors. The new feature will let the pen be more natural and far more useful in many more scenarios and conditions.
“USI 2.0 replaces propriety approaches with a single solution allowing a stylus to be used across a wide range of touch-enabled devices, including phones, tablets, computing and entertainment platforms. It defines a standard signaling mechanism and communication protocol between a stylus and a touch-enabled device. It features a robust two-way protocol designed from the ground up to support a rich set of base features as well as extensibility for per-vendor customization and future usages. Wireless charging and improved in-cell support are the latest addition to the USI specification.”
Lenovo will be among the first companies to adopt the new USI 2.0 technology and bring a physical product to the market. The company said that it’s working with Google to develop a new pen using the USI 2.0 protocol; however, the company hasn’t mentioned any availability or pricing for the upcoming product.