The Innovation Process of the Stylus Pen


October 9, 2015 by idinnovation

The development of new technologies is driven by technological evolution and what is called Moore’s Law. Evolutionary technology is based off the premise that new technologies are developed through innovation progression and grow from past technologies, The rhymes of history evolutionary path is very interesting as the correlation between technologies of today have similarities to past technologies. Ideas for technology are often based off science-based fiction, which can be seen in movies and print such as Star Trek and Back to the Future.

The stylus pen has been around for many, many years. Let downloadus  go back some 6000 years around 4000 BC a man scratches a clay tablet using a bone or some other tool. Edge up to 3000 BC and the Egyptians are using imagery to communicate and writing on papyrus using thin red brushes or reed pens. I could discuss the Romans and their use of wax on wooden tablets and the use of the metal stylus. But the dark ages brought about tablets filled with wax that were used to take notes and plan the layout of books. Their use of metal or bone is consistent with the stylus.
Let us fast forward a bit and move to the 1790’s when the pencil was invested in both France and Australia. Following by the patenting of the metal pen in 1803. By 1884, Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance broker invested the first proper fountain pen. The ballpoint pen was introduced to the US market in 1945! Soon after in 1957, Tom Dimond used the stylus in a technology device.

Much like the universe technology too evolves and through innovation is reintroduced in cycles.

History of Writing Implements – over 6000 years. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014d). David Thornburg: Evolutionary technologies [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


6 thoughts on “The Innovation Process of the Stylus Pen

  1. paulhodgson13 says:

    Hi Sharifa

    With the introduction of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil stylus, do you see this as recognition of the human need to be able to document their experiences easily without having to use new skills? For example, why couldn’t humans just use voice notes or type their information instead of using a stylus?


    • idinnovation says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your reply. You know I think it is a personal preference. For example, my fiance uses voice typing all the time while I rarely if ever use it. In fact, I only recently started trying it due to him using it all the time. I think technology allows us to select our preferences. As humans I think we do need to document our histories and have both in written and verbal form.

  2. Yali says:

    Hi Sharifa,
    Great discussion on stylus! Today as touch-screen technology becomes an important part for cell phones, tablets and computers, a stylus is increasingly useful. This is especially true for inputting Chinese characters. Different than inputting English, one needs first to type in letters for Chinese spelling. The spelling leads to a list of Chinese characters. Users need to choose the right one from the sometimes long list. But with a stylus, one can write the character directly onto the screen.

    • idinnovation says:

      Hi Yali,

      You make a great point with your comment on Chinese characters. I am often amazed at how using a single keyboard a person can type in various languages. However, I can imagine how using a stylus to write characters would be extremely efficient.

  3. Lynn Millard says:

    Sharifa, That is a very good choice of rhymes of history from the past. Thank you for sharing!

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