Japanese graphic tablet company Wacom has designed and launched two stylus instruments that can be used directly on a range of devices, including Microsoft and Apple products.
The pen-like products use pressure sensors to allow users to draw or write onto screens and are being marketed to creatives as high quality sketching tools.
Striking deals with Microsoft and Apple means that Wacom is able to collaborate with the technology companies rather than compete directly with them.
New relationship with Apple and Microsoft
Wacom tablets and stylus products have long been popular with designers and creative, but in recent years both Apple and Microsoft have targeted creative professionals with products such as the Microsoft Surface Pro and the iPad Pro, which come with their own styluses.
The Bamboo Ink stylus is the result of a Wacom and Microsoft partnership. It can be used across Windows Ink and most Windows 10 platforms.
Senior vice president of Wacom’s consumer business unit, Mike Gay, says: “It pairs 35 years of Wacom’s pen innovation with Windows 10 – the best of both worlds for making ideas.”
Pushing the top of the stylus launches Windows Ink Workspace. It can open pen-enabled apps like Sticky Notes and Bamboo Paper, synchronising them across devices.
“Taking ideas further”
Windows Ink group program manager at Microsoft Jerry Koh, says the Bamboo “offers pen technology that empowers anyone who wants to write, draw or mark-up documents to take their ideas further”.
It comes with three nibs – soft, medium and firm – and has been ergonomically designed with a soft-touch grip. The pressure being applied to the screen is constantly detected by the stylus, which makes every stroke an accurate reflection of the user’s intent, according to Wacom.
It launches in the US this month before a global roll-out will bring it to the UK in August 2017, where it will cost £69.99.
The Bamboo Sketch has been designed for use on Apple’s iOS devices. It works in exactly the same way as the Bamboo Ink and allows users to write or visualise ideas on an iPad. Its battery life is 16 hours and it will also begin to roll out from June, priced at £69.
“Visual thinkers who use an iPad or iPhone for their notes and sketches require a penthat offers precision and individualisation.
“Bamboo Sketch offers an advanced writing and drawing experience for those whose first instinct is to reach for a pen and paper as soon as inspiration strikes,” says Gay.