Your body isn't good enough for HTC. That is, according to a patent filed last year by the smartphone manufacturer. The patent covers a magnetic stylus for capacitive touchscreens that "is controlled by the stylus through magnetism of the head."

Interestingly, the patent references HTC's biggest competitor, the iPhone, to describe a capacitive screen. Anyhoo, the patent goes on to discuss that the UI must be designed with the finger in mind, and our fat little digits can get in the way.

In order to cater to the user's operation mode of using a finger, icons displayed on a screen must be configured in an appropriate size to prevent the user from miss touching the icons. Furthermore, a part of the screen is often shielded by finger of the user when the capacitive touch panel is used. Moreover, a conventional stylus has a small head, so that a user can click small icons conveniently, but the conventional stylus is only applicable to resistive touch panels, but not applicable to capacitive touch panels.

So how's it work?

The head of the stylus of the present application is magnetic. Therefore, when a relative speed exists between the head and the capacitive touch panel, an inducting current is generated on the capacitive touch panel. Then, the capacitive touch panel calculates a position where the inducting current is generated according to the inducting current. Thus, the stylus can control the capacitive touch panel.

Cool stuff. Maybe we'll get to see it when Windows Mobile, ya know, supports capacitive touchscreens. Check out the full patent here. [via wmpoweruser]