We reported on a phenomenal new tech on its way to Chromebooks via the USI pen standard not long ago. Ufro – the company behind existing pens like the ColorPillar that works on iPads and iPhones – is in the process of bringing their awesome tech to USI pens that will work on Chromebooks as early as 12 months from now. What is that tech, exactly? Simply put, it is a color sensor that can be used to grab colors from the real world and immediately apply them to the color picker on your screen. It’s pretty amazing to see in action, but clearly a complex thing to integrate. As part of that development process, they obviously have prototypes up and running and we just so happen to have one in the office to test out.
While this isn’t doing anything more than what we saw demoed in the past, we simply wanted to confirm that this tech is operational and actually works as intended. There’s no additional setup that will be required by end users with this implementation, either. If you have a USI compatible Chromebook and a pen with Ufro’s tech inside (in the future, obviously), you’ll simply be able to power it on, touch the back of the pen to a physical object, and pass that color on to the screen. The app itself will have to integrate the necessary APIs (Pete Mueller was kind enough to send over a Chromebook that loaded up a few apps with these APIs enabled already), but apart from that, there’s nothing needed from the user’s end to make all this work.
Unlike what is currently out there in the market, when this color sensing tech hits the market, there won’t be any additional pairing or setup necessary to use it, and that’s really the key. We simply opened up the Chromebook, grabbed the pen, and started scanning colors from all sorts of objects with great consistency. Again, with no need to set anything up or go through a complicated pairing process, the whole experience feels a bit like magic. Look for pens with the real world color-grabbing tech to start rolling out in early 2022 from multiple stylus makers and, as always, as we learn more about retail availability, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date.