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Wacom uncovers Bamboo Stylus for iPad

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Mon April 18, 2011

Accessory helps fill gap in iPad input

Drawing peripheral maker Wacom has announced the Bamboo Stylus, its first accessory for the iPad. The pen is colored black and silver, and said to be constructed with a "satin-textured" metal body. Weighting is balanced for better control. A heavily promoted feature is the tip, which measures just 6mm, in theory making it more precise than alternatives.

Like other iPad styluses, the Bamboo is intended to improve art illustration apps like Brushes or SketchBook Mobile, or simply any other app where freeform drawing is possible. Because the iPad doesn't support it however, the Bamboo doesn't offer any pressure sensitivity. The pen should ship online and at retail in mid-May for $30.




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  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +13

    engineering types, please illuminiate us...

    This makes me wonder what are the engineering limitations preventing a pressure-sensitive pen from hitting the market? Isn't there some way to build in pressure sensitivty into the pen itself so Bluetooth can pick it up while the tablet surface itself pulls down the actual drawing path?

  1. herojig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    +3

    It should be pressure-sensitive but...

    Ha, what prevented it? Perhaps nothing but a business plan. I'm sure it will happen at some point, and I bet Wacom wants to be in on that deal. With the new Adobe CS5.5 SDK, it would not take much for an ipad2 or other tablet to replace a Wacom of tablet of similar design. In fact, with existing and even new unwritten photoshop apps it would just rock. The Cintiq line might become the next Neanderthal of tablets...

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    -2

    No.

    No, Wacom does NOT require a resistive surface for pressure sensitivity. Take a look at any of their actual tablets, not computers. My Graphire 3 had a big thick chunk of plastic over the tablet surface that had no sensors or anything like that in there.

    My guess is right now that a pressure sensitive pen would simply need to have certain APIs be available, and it's irritating that Apple hasn't made allowances for this yet.

  1. diskrete

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011

    +3

    Pressure sensitivity does not require iPad support

    @Feathers: It's understood that the iPad screen is not pressure sensitive.

    What several of us are wondering is why they don't make the *stylus tip* pressure sensitive and communicate the sensitivity back to compatible apps using Bluetooth.

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