Microsoft could be considering adding a display or status bar
panel to its Surface Pen. Microsoft appears to have a
bright idea to make the Surface Pen more user-friendly by
adding a status bar that has indicators of battery and even
First spotted by us, a new patent application titled ‘Dynamic
Interaction Adaptation of a Digital Inking Device’ was filed by
Microsoft in late 2017 and published by USPTO on June
Basically, this patent adds a panel to the surface of
the pen to address various problems of a stylus. In the
background of the patent, Microsoft says that it is difficult
for a user to determine a selected input mode for a
digital inking device, but the problem could be solved by
enabling dynamic interaction adaptation on the pen.
The patent points to new techniques that enable ‘dynamic device
interaction adaptation’ of the stylus. Microsoft says a stylus
can select its interaction model and the selection of an
interaction model can be based on one or more factors. For
example, the selection would be different when the device is
held by the user and it can be also based on its angle or
distance from the computing device.
As shown in the drawings, a stylus may display the first
set of UI control elements and the first set of status
indicators when in contact with a paired computer. The same
digital inking device may transition to another interaction
model to display the second set of UI control elements and the
second set of status indicators when the digital inking device
is not in contact with, or near, a paired computer.
In another case, Microsoft says that the pen can also
display select status indicators and UI controls when it
is not in contact with a computing device. The pen may turn off
its status indicators and the UI controls when the inking is on
contract with the paired Windows 10 device.
Interestingly, the pen also renders email notifications in both
“In this example, while operating in the second interaction
model, the digital inking device only displays an email
notification and a portion of a battery status indicator. This
example is provided for illustrative purposes and is not to be
construed as limiting. Any type of notification can be
displayed when the pen 100is operating with either
interaction model,” Microsoft explains.