Google ‘s upcoming Pixel tablet may support the USI standard, or the Universal Pen Initiative, which allows it to be used with a range of third-party styluses, if a recently discovered entry is certified in the USI’s list of approved products.
The USI Certified Products section of the website revealed that a Google tablet (likely a code name) has been USI certified and complies with the USI device specification.
The Google device bears the product name Tangor and the model number of the Tablet, which are presumably the names of the elements representing the Android tablet that the search giant announced earlier this month.
As the name suggests, the Universal Pen Initiative wants to create a standard for active pen input so that any supported accessory will work with every certified device.
Google joined the standard in 2018. It is supported across a range of Chromebooks, allowing it to be used with a variety of styluses from different manufacturers.
And while there are plenty of Android tablets out there with a stylus (like Samsung’s S Pen for Galaxy tablets). But no tablets are certified to work with the global USI standard.
Earlier this year, USI announced version 2.0 of the standard. This version includes a new wireless charging feature with NFC technology that can allow compatible pens to be charged once they are placed next to a supported device, similar to what Apple offers with the Apple Pencil 2 and select iPads.
It is not clear which version of the standard Google tablet might support. It’s also curious that Tangor appeared so early in the certification database. Because the Pixel tablet isn’t expected until 2023.
The list was added sometime after January of this year. This USI support is the first of its kind for Android. But some other companies’ devices may reach the market before the Google device.
Google Tablet May Get USI Certification and Pen Support
The Pixel tablet is expected to function as a smart display with an as yet unannounced dock with stylus support. This certainly gives the device an added selling edge.
And if there is a Pixel-branded USI pen, the question is how it can be charged from a Google tablet. USB-C or AAAA batteries are options used in many styluses today. But the best solution is wireless charging.
This raises the question of whether the Pixel tablet has reverse wireless charging, or does it come with pogo pins.
Meanwhile, the team responsible for Android tablets said they are interested in inserting the stylus and discovering new apps that take advantage of people who might be doing things that are enabled with the stylus.
The company touted the Pixel tablet as helping to drive momentum around large-screen Android devices. It makes sense that the device supports the latest specifications.