Friday, February 13, 2015

Closing the Business

As of today, we are no longer producing or selling the oStylus. It's been a great few years. We started this blog January 6, 2011, which means we have been with this project for over four years. But now it's time to stop.

My background and skills are in jewellery design and fabrication, not your usual main street jewellery, but contemporary work in alternative and traditional materials. It was this experience and skill that led me into designing the original oStylus, even before the first iPad was launched. I had seen the need for an accurate stylus for creative people to use when  drawing on the iPhone, but it ended up being a perfect fit for the iPad.

We never intended to make this a mega-business, more like a cottage industry, but we worked out the intricacies of designing for machine tools and got parts produced in Ontario, had them shipped to our studio, and assembled and finished them here by hand. I had a lot of help and advice from those with experience in the manufacturing field, particularly here in Owen Sound.

From the moment we started production we had serious demand and it was hard to keep up with that demand. Part of the reason for that was because we were early innovators onto the stylus scene and tablets were fast becoming big news. But because we insisted on quality and hand finishing, and we refused to go offshore for parts production, our prices stayed high. and demand slowly fell off.

In  March 2012 we introduced another design, the oStylus DOT, and we had another spike in demand. But it too has slowed down. We attribute this to two things: the use of Bluetooth in highly accurate styluses with a price not much more than the oStylus, and the generally very low cost of most other mechanical styluses.

Dragonfly Pendant, Sterling Silver
For those of you that own an oStylus let me say thank you. For those who might still want one, email me and we'll see if we have any left. Meanwhile I can now devote more time to my jewellery making. If you would like to see the sort of work we do, check us out at Goss Design Studio.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Price Cuts

Today we have cut the prices by $10.00 on both oStylus models. Now the original oStylus is $29 and the DOT is $28.

One other note: if you need a replacement tip on either model, we can send those to you at a cost of $5, including postage (air letter).

Friday, March 22, 2013

Temporary Closing Soon

If you want to buy an oStylus, our web site is just about the only place you can buy one. And if you want to buy one soon, now is the time to do it. We are temporarily closing our operation down at the beginning of April, 2013, for six to eight weeks. The regular order pages on our website will have notices posted about the closure. So this is a heads up.

During the shutdown you can request to be placed on an email list, so that we can notify you when we return to regular operations. In the meantime you have about a week or so to place an order.

Simple Is Better

Perfume dispenser?

Recently we received this in our email from a Chinese manufacturer:
"Many  new kinds of stylus pen were released currently . Every design with unique feature in color or structure , such as the pen with perfume sprayer  ,stylus with pen and bottle opener,stylus with SIM card pin etc .Attached include relative picture and price . Samples are available !"

It was reassuring, in a way, to have this perspective on our own two oStylus models - the original oStylus and the oStylus DOT. They have one - and only one - simple purpose: to make interaction with an iPad easier and more accurate. We don't think you really want a perfume sprayer built into your stylus. And why would you need a bottle opener while working on an iPad? Don't even ask.

oStylus DOT
In design, simple is always better. Focus on one thing and do it well.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


We have recently changed the pricing on the oStylus. It's not much of an increase – 50¢ for the DOT or 1.50 for the Original – but the stylus now includes a new pen clip with either model. The original oStylus is now 39 USD, and the newer oStylus DOT 38 USD.

But the good news is that if you now order two styluses (one of each or two of one model), we'll knock 5 USD off the total price. Shipping costs remain the same, but don't forget that you only pay one shipping rate no matter how many styluses you order. This makes it worthwhile for you to order for a group of friends or co-workers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Latest Changes

For the last couple of months we have been selling the oStylus DOT with a few changes from the original design, so we thought we would share what those changes are. In another blog entry we mentioned how our small size means we can change, adapt and respond very quickly. These are concrete examples of how that works.

The current oStylus DOT model
The DOT is now one inch shorter. It's now 5 3/8" (13.5 cm). We had many requests from early users to shorten the stylus so that it fits easily in a shirt pocket. Connected to this idea was the addition of an optional clip for the stylus. We have found a very simple design to complement the aesthetic of the stylus. The clip is chrome-plated steel.

Clip for the oStylus DOT and the original oStylus
On the invisible, or not so visible side, the contact pad has some minor changes. The hole for the titanium wires is now dead-ended (as compared to drilled right through). This prevents any chance of slipping sideways on the wires, and also improves the rotation of the contact pad. The chamfer (or bevel) on the underside has been increased slightly to lower any chance of catching an edge. We have also increased the size of the vinyl pad slightly so it covers the steel more completely. These are all little things, but they mean that the DOT is continually improving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reviews and Feedback

We always welcome reviews and feedback for the oStylus, either model. Lots of authors and film directors swear they never read reviews – and you can see why. If you have spent a year or more working and editing a novel, or directing a movie with a million dollar budget, you have fixed the final product forever in stone and the thought of correcting or tweaking it would be a nightmare.

But not so with the oStylus. We are, as we have said before, a very small design business. Our background is in jewellery making, so we have the tools and technology to make almost anything in metal, build a prototype, try it out, listen to criticism, make an adjustment, and do another short run. In short, we think reviews and feedback are critical to the development of a tool. For example, we heard from a few people that they were a bit nervous about seeing some steel showing around the edges of the vinyl contact. So we made the vinyl contact a tiny bit bigger. We also heard that a pen clip would be a good idea. We didn't like changing our minimalist design, but "the customer is always right," so we sourced a simple design that fits the narrow handles and looks good, and now we include one in the package to use if you like.

Recently we heard from a customer who bought both the original model oStylus and the new oStylus DOT. We asked them if they would take the time to compare the two models. And the response made it all worthwhile. They were kind enough to allows us to reprint their impressions:

"I've had some time over the weekend to try them out, and I am very pleased. It is clear that you have honed them both to pull the maximum possible out of the Apple devices. I feel that I have purchased the best possible stylus tools, and I am glad that I ordered both. The original oStylus is a unique offering. It is ideal for close detail work, especially tracing around objects or filling in shapes. The new dot model is great for handwriting and freehand sketching. Also, on the iPhone's smaller screen, the dot model allows you to write very close to the edge of the screen. So, again, I'm glad I got both tools since the combination allows one to address the whole spectrum of writing and drawing needs. So, thanks very much for some great tools." *  

 So let us know what you think, how we can do better. You might even find one of your suggested improvements** incorporated in the next oStylus.

*Thanks to S.C. in Virginia.
**Sorry, no financial compensation...