Must Have: Wacom Inkling

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I’m not the kind of guy who gets the latest tech the day, or the year, or even the decade that it is released, but I will definitely be pre ordering this! The upcoming Inkling from Wacom is an ingenious little thing that records what you are drawing on paper. The pen is a pen, but also a pressure sensative stylus, that transmits to a little receiver that clips onto the top of your paper. Your sketches can be saved as any number of files, including Photoshop and Vector Graphics! The pen and the receiver (i guess that is what it is called) hold a charge for about 8 hours and can be recharged via USB. (At this point shouldn’t everything be rechargeable? I’m sick of swapping around AA’s until my VCR remote works.)

Anyway, this isn’t the type of tool that you would create finished art with but it does allow you to do the hefty lifting whenever you’re inspired (which is seldom in front of a computer). It also helps when meeting with clients. Until now I would sketch the ideas durring the meeting, then take them home to work off of. Usually I would just look at the paper and recreate what I had done, or if I wanted it digitized I would have to dust off the ol’ scanner. With the Inkling those days are gone.

The Inkling does have some drawbacks though. For instance, the pen just seems to be a typical ball point pen. Not bad, but not very exciting. Also, the paper size. Inkling only works with a standard paper size of 8.5″x11″. Again, not terrible, but it isn’t rare for me to work larger than this, even for rough sketches. I’m sure these issues and more will be addressed in some future version so not a big deal.

Whatever the drawbacks the Inkling might seem pretty minor compared to what it does. Or maybe it will be a piece of shit. It was just announced yesterday and there are no hands on reviews that I can find. Still, at under $200 it doesn’t make sense for me to not get one.

Here is a video showing the Inkling in action. A little to PR for my taste, but it is all that is available right now.

The Wacom Inkling drops in mid September. I’ll keep you posted.