Digital pens that track your hand written notes are nothing new. In fact, we reviewed one a few years ago, and for the most part we liked what we saw. Our tests, though, were limited to writing and didn’t address those who spend a fair bit of time sketching or should we say drawing.
Enter Wacom’s Inkling. It’s a $200 device that digitally transcribes your handy work in real time. The pen uses a pressure sensitive tip (1024 levels) to track what you’re drawing and transmits the information in real time, via ultrasonic and infrared technologies, to the included receiver. The receiver attaches to the top of the paper, and given the aforementioned technology it must always have a line of site to the pen in order to work. No special paper is needed, just in case you were wondering.
Although paper size, or at least drawing size is limited to a standard sized piece of paper (8×11″), users can denote layers in their work. We can only assume its analogous to that of Photoshop, allowing you to adjust layers independently of one of other and separate your work or erase parts with ease as needed, once transfered to your computer.
And speaking of which, transferring your work to a computer is as simple as plugging it into a computer’s USB port. The files are compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (CS3 or newer), as well as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (2011 or newer). Alternatively, files can be saved in JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, SVG and PDF formats for use with other applications.
A compact case, which both the receiver and pen fit inside, charge both devices. Total battery life is about 3 hours depending on usage.
Wacom’s Inkling pen will be available mid-September.