Glossary definition of Stylus

Today, the term stylus often refers to an input method usually used in PDAs, graphics tablets, Tablet PCs, and UMPCs. In this method, a stylus that secretes no ink touches a touch screen instead of a finger to avoid getting the natural oil from one's hands on the screen. It also improves precision of touch, allowing use of smaller interface elements. Stylus may be used for handwriting or drawing on the screen. Styli are also used with the Nintendo DS handheld gaming device, which has two screens, the bottom one being touch-sensitive.

A stylus may also be used to scribe a recording into smoked foil or glass. In various instruments this method may be used instead of a pen for recording as it has the advantage of being able to operate over a wide temperature range, does not clog or dry prematurely, and has very small friction in comparison to other methods. These characteristics were useful in certain types of early seismographs and in recording barographs that were once used to verify sailplane records.

The sharpest stylus possible has a single atom at its tip. Such styli are used in scanning tunneling microscopes.

Phones tagged with Stylus