An Inkling into the future of sketching…


New stylus product from Wacom set to blur the line between traditional analogue and digital sketching…


Sketching is perhaps the most liberating part of the design process, you are completely unrestrained by design software or computers. However often translating that form into a digital environment for tweaking and refinement isn’t so streamlined. Wacom’s new product is seeking to bridge that gap between ideation sketching and digital development and editing…

“The Inkling digital sketch pen 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 is ideal for the front end of the creative process…”

The major advantage I see is the freedom to sketch away from the computer, but still quickly generate vector paths for drawings or laser cutting. Wacom have clearly demonstrated an understanding of the ubiquitous computing needs of designers, illustrators, makers, doodlers, etc.. I am especially excited about the new product as I enjoy traditional sketching by hand in the outdoors where a device such as a tablet or laptop’s display readability is usually compromised by direct sunlight.

The Inkling receiver has been built to be very versatile and can be clipped to any sketchbook or piece of paper. It employes infrared and ultrasonic technologies to pick up your hand sketches, these can be saved as either vector lines or pixels in a number of file formats.

“In addition to capturing your sketch, stroke by stroke, Inkling allows you to create layers in digital files while you sketch on paper. Digital files are transferred to your computer…”

Expected release date for the Wacom Inkling is Mid-September for about $USD199

David is an industrial designer from New Zealand. He contributes a weekly 3D print or CNC article for Ponoko. You can follow him on Twitter @dizymac

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