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Painting With Real Brushes on the Hp Touchsmart Pc

by Paul Strauss

So I picked up an HP TouchSmart IQ815 touchscreen computer over the holidays, and discovered something really cool. You can actually use the oversize screen of the TouchSmart PC as a canvas using real paint brushes.


See, the TouchSmart doesn’t actually detect pressure, but uses NextWindow’s infrared optical sensor technology to determine the position of your fingers. With a little experimentation, I discovered that pretty much anything that doesn’t scratch the screen can be used as a stylus.


While there’s no decent paint application that ships with the TouchSmart, you should definitely plunk down $25 bucks for a copy of Ambient Design’s ArtRage, a truly amazing low-cost natural media art application. The combination of ArtRage and a cheap $2 acrylic paintbrush is all you need to paint on screen. Check out my [cheesy] home video clip to see what all the fuss is about:

[View Video Clip in HD]

While I’ve played with graphic tablets and touchscreen finger-painting before, there’s nothing quite like using a real brush. At this point, there’s no way to detect the pressure or angle of the bristles, but at least one person has already put together a proof-of-concept for detecting brush width on the TouchSmart. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before that logic finds its way into a paint application.

So if you have a TouchSmart and even a single artistic bone in your body, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of ArtRage, a couple of cheap paintbrushes, and get to painting. Maybe you’ll be the next Renoir or Picasso. Just be sure not to put any actual paint on your brush.

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Comments (8):

  1. JOANNE OWENS says:

    Wow…this is great to know. Now I know more about the HP Touchsmart when I win it.

  2. Cyber says:

    Cool, I was wondering if anyone would use the hp touchsmart for this.

  3. XpAcErX says:

    There may be no way detect the pressure or angle but you can sure see the brush strokes. I’m assuming a simple firmware upgrade will be needed to get this functionality.

  4. Cyril says:

    this is just one-upped all drawing tablets i’ve seen

  5. Gina says:

    Hm, doesn’t seem to work for me with ArtRage and a HP Touchsmart Tm2 tablet. I wonder if the tabletwould support this with software or driver updates, or if it needs to be built into the screen?

  6. Gina says:

    I’ve contacted NextWindow. We’ll see if they have any comment.

  7. Alma says:

    Good! i’ve been thinking what other use can i get from my touchsmart other than internet surfing, music, movies and tv. I downloaded corel trial and will see if art has a patience on me. :-)

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