I’ve featured devices which let you digitize the images and text you write on paper before, but this new gadget from the master of drawing tablets, Wacom, decidedly improves upon the concept, capturing up to 1024 levels of pressure from drawings done on paper.
One of the big downsides to sketching on drawing tablets is that they don’t really feel like drawing on paper, and devices like the iPad don’t work with variable pressure. And drawing on paper, then scanning your image requires too many steps, and can only be used for raster images. The cool thing about the Wacom Inkling is that it lets you draw directly on paper with a ball point pen, and can store every detail of your sketch as either raster or vector art – letting you manipulate your lines digitally, while retaining your varied strokes on paper. And since it’s portable, you can draw anywhere you go.
The Inkling comes with three main components, a receiver box that clips onto the top of any notepad, and a special pen, which communicates with the receiver, and a docking station for charging the receiver and pen and transferring images to your computer. You can then sketch til the cows come home in your notepad. At the end of the day, simply plug in and sync up with Wacom’s Inkling Sketch Manager to import your drawings into Photoshop or Illustrator or other applications.
The system uses a combination of ultrasonic and infrared technologies to work its magic, and it truly does look magical. While I haven’t had a chance to play with this thing yet, I’m really looking forward to checking out the Inkling when it hits stores sometime this September for $199 (USD).