Digital artists frequently use augmented styluses to modify parametric input such as stroke width. We contribute to this domain by creating a flexible stylus prototype, the FlexStylus, that detects deformation as a force vector with both an angle and an absolute value, providing two degrees of freedom for improving the experience of digital artists.
We outline the construction of the prototype and the principles behind the sensing method, which uses a cluster of four fibre-optic flexion sensors. We propose interaction techniques using the FlexStylus to improve menu navigation and tool selection. Finally, we describe a study measuring accuracy during dynamic parameter adjustment. We compare users’ ability to match a changing target value using a commercial pressure stylus and the FlexStylus’ absolute deformation. When using the FlexStylus, users had a significantly higher accuracy overall. This suggests that deformation may be a useful input method for future work considering stylus augmentation.