We’ve seen pens that translated ink drawings to digital lines automagically before. So far, though, I don’t think there’s ever been one that works as sleek as the Wacom Inkling.
Using it is simple: You clip the receiver to your sketchpad; you use the pen to draw the half-Chthulhu/half-mermaid you saw in your dream last night; and you draw some more until all your nightmares are neatly sketched on stacks of sheets. When you’re done, simply connect the receiver to your PC via USB and browse through everything you just drew on paper in digital form. Like magic. From there, you can export any files you like from the receiver’s storage to your PC. You can save it as JPEG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, SVG or PDF, as well as transfer it directly in vector form to Photoshop, Illustrator or Autodesk Sketchbook.
The Wacom Inkling uses ultrasonic and infrared technologies to perform the conversion, capturing your sketches stroke by painstaking stroke. More accurate than any digital pen in the market, it boasts 1,024 levels of ballpoint pressure, allowing it to save lines and strokes with precise thickness. There are some limits of course: you can only draw up to an A4-sized area and all drawings need to be made within close vicinity of the receiver (that’s why you clip it on top of the paper).
The pen/receiver combo can work up to 8 hours on a full charge, giving you enough rope to sketch on the road for an entire workday. Oh yeah, and it supports layers. All you have to do is click on the “layer button” and any sketch after that will be done on a new digital sheet. Just like you’re drawing on a computer.
Availability for the Wacom Inkling starts by mid-September, priced at $199 for a full set (pen, receiver, batteries, spare ink, charging case and software).