✱ New Innovations in Digital Sketching - Wacom's Inkling

wacom_inkling_big-252049.jpg

Wacom is now showing off a new product called Inkling that'll be out next month that looks really cool. It's a digitally enhanced sketching pen and receiver that you can use with normal paper. I was in the office the other day showing some friends a new stylus I got for my iPad (review forthcoming) and the question came up about pressure sensitivity. The iPad isn't pressure sensitive, so we wondered about developing a stylus where the tip of it was pressure sensitive instead of waiting for Apple to enhance their screens in this way. Well, it's been done now... another short-lived million dollar idea! It's OK, I have lots more.

This new pen has Wacom's typical (and I mean that in a good way) 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity built into the tip of the pen. No, it's not a stylus. It is an actual ink pen that you draw with, and when combined with a receiver you attached to a sheet of paper, records your sketch digitally. Once you are done, you plug the receiver into your Mac or Windows box and transfer the sketch file into Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. You could also open up an image in any image-reading app, but the benefit to the aforementioned programs is that the lines you sketched turn into vectors and are editable after the fact! It even supports layers... just tap the receiver at the top of your paper to add a new layer on the fly. This is pretty much a game-changer. My jaw has dropped.

My reservations are that it looks like a ballpoint pen, and I really don't like to use those for sketching. I'm hoping it's something that flows a bit more fluidly. I also don't think I'd drop $200 for it, but we'll see what happens. There will be plenty of people who will buy it if it gets some good reviews.

This would be a great tool in a designer's hands and I'm looking forward to it. Imagine sketching some underlays, transferring them to Illustrator, adjusting and sending them to a CAD program for further editing. Awesome.

Here's their promotional video: