Wacom Inkling smart pen does drawing the old-fashioned way -- sort of (video)

The latest product from Wacom trades the whole tablet motif we've come to know and love from the company, in favor of some good, old-fashioned pen-on-paper action. The Inkling is a ballpoint that transfers layered sketches to a PC or Mac via a USB connected receiver, which can then be edited with the included Sketch Manager software. The Livescribe-esque pen has pressure sensing technology with 1,024 levels of sensitivity. It will be available mid-September for $199. Video of the device after the break.

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Wacom Has An Inkling

Today, Wacom® introduces Inkling, a new digital sketch pen that captures a digital likeness of your work while you sketch with its ballpoint tip on any sketchbook or standard piece of paper. Designed for rough concepting and creative brainstorming, Inkling bridges the gap between paper sketching and digital drawing by giving users at the front end of the creative process a way to rough-out ideas with real ink on paper and capture their concepts digitally so that they can be later refined on their computer. Inkling even allows users to create layers in the digital file while sketching on paper in the following creative software applications: Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator® and Autodesk® Sketchbook® Pro.
Spontaneous and Liberating

Virtually anyone who uses sketching to capture their creative ideas and wants to have their drawings in a digital format to e-mail, archive or further refine on their computer can benefit from Inkling. For example, artists, illustrators, or story boarders who appreciate the convenience, speed and spontaneity of loosely sketching their ideas on paper could profit from the capabilities of Wacom's Inkling digital sketch pen. In everyday use, a graphic designer could use Inkling to create rough concepts on paper for a new advertising campaign and then review and share these concepts on the computer with colleagues or clients. The pen and receiver store and recharge in a compact case making it easy to transport Inkling between, home, office, hotel or any typical workspace.

"Inkling's inspiration comes from a desire to give artistic people the freedom to draw on paper and to provide an easy way to transition the drawings to digital media," said Glenn Tsunekawa, Global Product Manager at Wacom.
Inkling Specifics

The Inkling digital sketch pen is comprised of both hardware and software components. Hardware includes both the pen and a wireless receiver that captures a likeness of the sketch and stores it digitally. The ballpoint pen uses Wacom's pressure sensing technology (1024 levels of sensitivity) to detect how hard the pen is being pressed to the paper while sketching. These pressure variations will appear in the digital version of your drawing. "Through its pressure sensitivity, Inkling captures the varied line weights created by the ink pen," adds Tsunekawa.

The receiver can be clipped to the edge of standard paper or sketchbooks and the position can be adjusted for left or right handed users to provide the receiver with an uninterrupted line of sight with the pen tip. When sketching is complete, the receiver is connected to the user's computer via USB to transfer the digital files. Files can be opened with the included Inkling Sketch Manager software to edit, delete or add layers as well as to change formats and transfer the files for adjustment and editing in creative software applications.

Inkling can store thousands of sketches and export layered files directly to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (CS3 or newer), as well as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (2011). Alternatively, files can be saved in JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, SVG and PDF formats for use with other applications. According to Tsunekawa, "Inkling's support of raster based applications such as Adobe Photoshop, as well as vector based applications such as Illustrator and Autodesk Sketchbook Designer, will provide users with options for incorporating their preliminary sketches into further developed work".
The Ideal Companion for Intuos® and Cintiq®

Users of Wacom Intuos pen tablets and Cintiq interactive pen displays gain extra benefits by adding an Inkling to their creative toolbox. "For those working with our professional products, the pen is already their input tool of choice," continued Tsunekawa. "Inkling can deliver an immediate ROI to these users by delivering an accelerated and more mobile workflow resulting in digital files that can easily and quickly be transferred to their home or office computer and redrawn using the Intuos or Cintiq pen."