Japanese company Wacom, known for their pen-based tablets, activated the marketing plan for a new product this week, and I’d say they’re executing it pretty well. The new product is Inkling, a cute little gadget, small enough to carry in your pocket, that makes it easy to seamlessly transfer drawings from regular paper, into layered vector files that can be edited in compatible graphics programs on your MAC or PC. And everyone is talking about it.
In some ways Inkling is similar to the Livescribe pen, it’s designed to digitize hand-written content so you can get it onto your computer, and it requires a special digital pen. Unlike the Livescribe pen, Inkling can work with standard paper – and that’s a big plus for Inkling on the feature comparison list. The Inkling achieved this by moving the part of the technology that captures and stores the inputs from the pen to a receiver that you attach to your paper. Other pluses include a pen that recognizes 1,024 different levels of sensitivity, which means the strength of your stroke will be accurately translated from the paper, to the digital copy. The Inkling also has support for layers, a feature graphic designers, that want to post-process their sketches in graphics programs, will really appreciate. New layers are created by pressing a button on the Inkling receiver.
If the early reactions to the Inkling are any kind of indicator, I’d say Wacom is going to have a good Christmas. I’m kind of hoping Santa puts one in my stocking ; )
In the US, the Inkling will be available in “mid-September” for an MSRP of US$199.99.