About this project
WIRED GeekMom I've been going through a bunch of styluses lately. It turns out they mostly suck. The HAND Stylus ended up not sucking. Hooray! It's been the best iPad stylus I've tried.
Apple Gazette The results are in, and I'm calling them definitive: finally, someone has gotten the stylus just right. If you need a stylus, the HAND Stylus is the best one money can buy.
TUAW I'm going to have to apologize to the manufacturer of the stylus I used until now, because from now on I'm going to be using a HAND Stylus.
iPhoneLife I've made my contribution, and I encourage you to make yours too. What's not to like about the HAND Stylus?
Gear Diary The HAND Stylus performed beautifully!
TabTimes Using the HAND Stylus we're impressed... the 4mm tip is able to write smooth lines that are some of the finest we've seen with any stylus.
NetworkWorld The HAND Stylus looks like it will be the stylus I've wanted since I first got an iPad. It looks great, like my favorite mechanical pencils made by Rotring, the Rolls-Royce of drafting pencils.
Gentlemint The only stylus I would get.
Cult of Mac I pulled out my Wacom stylus to show John and mentioned it had a clean tip, and watched as John absent-mindedly stabbed the virgin rubber repeatedly onto the sticky bar table. If I had the HAND Stylus I needn't have suffered. The biggest feature is its retractable tip, but there's more...
Applenewsgator The HAND Stylus might be the last stylus you ever need.
In a quest to find a stylus that performs less like a blunt finger and more like the fine-tipped pens and pencils I use in my design work, I've purchased lots of styluses. Surprisingly, none of them has all the features I'd like. So I created the HAND Stylus—which sports the world's smallest tip, a mere 4mm in diameter, plus a host of other features that set it apart from all other styluses.
The slim tip is retractable, a feature found on no other rubber-tipped stylus. The exceptionally small tip provides superior precision, is easy to replace, and lasts longer than fixed tips because it rotates slightly each time it's retracted, so it wears more evenly. Again, a feature no other stylus offers. The HAND Stylus is nicely balanced, has a knurled collar for fine fingertip control, and has a removable, stainless-steel pocket clip that magnetically holds the stylus in place on an iPad's Smart Cover.
The hexagonal barrel of the HAND Stylus fits comfortably in your hand like a classic, six-sided, yellow pencil. The barrel is made from aerospace-grade anodized aluminum and comes in an array of gloss and matte colors that can be laser engraved. An engraved HAND Stylus makes a thoughtful gift or memorable advertising specialty item. Plus the pocket clip is removable.
With its small tip, the HAND Stylus works exceptionally well with touch-screen tablets for drawing and sketching, taking notes, retouching photos, accepting credit card signatures, or making presentations. It also performs well on smart phones for clicking on tiny internet links, selecting small text, and typing on diminutive keyboards. And the HAND Stylus is great for when you're wearing gloves, if you have long fingernails, or if you just like to keep your touch-screens free of fingerprints.
Six-packs of replacement tips come packaged in a handy aluminum container that you can keep at the ready in a book bag, backpack, purse, or desk drawer.
Every HAND Stylus comes packaged in a handsome tin gift box and will work well on iPads, iPhones, Android, Kindle, Nook, and Windows touch-screens.
HAND – The Mind's Cutting Edge
The HAND Stylus and its packaging are made from recycled or easily recyclable materials, plus we purchase nonprofit carbon credits to offset our use on nonrenewable energy.
If all goes well, we are planning to begin shipping styluses 3–4 weeks after the end of fundraising. Fund raising is slated to end around midnight on June 16th EDT. If there is any change in the anticipated ship date I will notify backers immediately, and I will give periodic updates as to how we're doing meeting our production goals and deadlines.
You don't want to get me started about the science and art of creating a stylus tip... I can easily bore you to tears with details about rubber formulations, carbon additives, cross-sectional architecture, and PU coatings (yes, PU). As I say around here, No tip, no stylus. I've spent the better part of nine months developing the HAND Stylus's 4mm tip, and I'll be very curious to see how quickly others copy what I've pioneered.
The people I’ve had test the HAND Stylus for tip performance fall into what I call the Goldilocks camps—those who find it too soft, those who find it too hard, and those who find it just about right. Fortunately, most of the people I’ve surveyed find the tip just about right; however, there are definitely people who want a harder or softer tip. Most people who illustrate, sketch, or do calligraphy prefer something in the middle—a tip that compresses a bit and tracks across a glass surface with a slight resistive pressure that provides tactile feedback. This is what the HAND Stylus tip provides.
All rounded rubber stylus tips need to compress until they create a circular area touching the screen that is approximately 4mm in diameter, which approximates the area of a fingertip pressed lightly against a touch-scren. If the circular area of the compressed tip is less than 4mm, then the screen ignores the input. This is why there are no fine-tipped styluses for capacitive screens produced by Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most Android device manufacturers. There are some Android devices which accommodate the use of a fine-tipped stylus (such as Samsung's Galaxy Note) because they use a different touch-screen technology. In the future, Apple may switch to Samsung's screen technology or increase the touch resolution of their current touch-screens, just as they have increased the pixel resolution. For now though, 4mm is the smallest diameter tip that can work with Apple's and other manufacturer's touch-screens without requiring an extreme amount of compression. As I said, I can go on and on about stylus tips.
The HAND Stylus, like Apple products, is designed in California and made in China. I studied Chinese for four years and have been producing products in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China for over 25 years. I personally visit all the manufacturers I work with and can attest that the working and environmental conditions of the companies I partner with in China are comparable to the companies I worked with in the U.S. Performing this due diligence is time consuming and expensive. I've already made two trips to China for the HAND Stylus project and will be going to China again in the next few weeks. The extra effort required to find quality suppliers, to my mind, is well worth the time and expense because you encounter fewer problems with companies that aren't looking to cut corners, and because it allows me to sleep with a clear conscience as to who I'm doing business with in China.
In addition, I have a very good friend in China who supervises production while I'm in the U.S. He and I see eye-to-eye as to working and environmental conditions. In fact, I stay at his home when I visit China rather than isolate myself in a hotel. This is my preferred way of doing business in China.
I don't know. I've been using a the same tip on a preproduction stylus for several months and it shows no signs of wear... and I've not read anything about rubber stylus tips wearing out quickly in any of the reviews or comments I've looked at for competitor's styluses. That said, rubber photo-degrades. That is, the more a rubber tip is exposed to sunlight the more quickly it ages, which usually takes the form of the rubber getting progressively harder and more brittle. Eventually rubber left in the sun will crumble. This is one reason I chose to make the HAND Stylus with a retractible tip, so the tip would spend less time exposed to sunlight.
The second factor that will affect tip longevity is surface coating. To make a rubber tip conductive, most manufacturers add carbon powder to the rubber formulation. It's the carbon powder that makes the rubber conductive. Without a surface coating, the carbon mixed into the rubber will leave faint charcoal-like smudges on paper and even on a glass screen. This being the case, most manufacturers spray some form of coating on their rubber tips to seal in the carbon. Over time, this surface coating wears away, but I think this will take many, many months as the glass the tip presses against is so smooth that it barely abrades the rubber tip. My best guess is that for light users a tip might last a year or more; for medium users a tip might last 6–9 months; and for heavy users a tip might last 4–6 months... and I really wouldn't be surprised if tips last considerably longer than these guesstimates. In any case, we offer a six-pack of extra tips for only $5 in case you find you're hard on tips.
Which brings me to my last tip wear point: which is that I have read about people damaging a stylus tip when the stylus is dropped or kept in a purse, backpack, or book bag. This is another reason I chose to make the HAND Stylus with a retractible tip that affords more protection than fixed-tip styluses.
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