Crayon-shaped styluses for the iPad have been around for years, even in a (at least semi) smart capacity, but the AppCrayon Deluxe that’s on Kickstarter right now is still fairly unique. It uses an audio communication system that we’ve seen in styluses before (hopefully it’s properly licensed) to communicate with an iPad, allowing compatible apps to react to the stylus’ many buttons. That allows a child to switch between colors and activate eraser mode without having to touch the screen, and an added bonus is that it detects whether the stylus is being held too tightly, to help with developing correct grip.
What I don’t see any mention of however is palm rejection, which can be a problem. There is mention of an SDK to make the stylus compatible with other apps, and I think that would have been more useful if palm rejection was part of the feature set. Then again, with a price tag of $30, a plastic housing, and button cell batteries, this is clearly made to be a relatively cheap accessory for kids rather than something more high end like smart styluses for note taking and drawing, and that’s understandable. At that price, it won’t break the wallet, and if it does what it promises it might be a good modern day equivalent of actual crayons.
While this is a Kickstarter project, the project description says that everything is set to go for producing the main batch. That, combined with the fact that this company is already established and selling the standard version of the stylus, does make me wonder if the product’s Kickstarter listing isn’t just for the PR and not really necessary for it to become a reality. That’s probably a good thing, too, as the $995 it has raised at the time of this writing is quite far from the $50,000 funding goal, even if it’s just been up for a few days.
If you do pledge for one, you can expect delivery around September, which isn’t too far off. Considering what it is though, waiting for it to appear in stores is probably soon enough. Still, it’s a neat product, and it’s nice to see accessories come out for every target market of tablets.