updated 02:52 pm EST, Wed February 26, 2014
New protocol should be cross platform, and apply to computers or mobile
Tablet and software creator Wacom has proposed that the drawing-tablet industry adopt a new standard -- what it is calling WILL (Wacom Ink Layer Language). The company claims that what the industry needs is "a universal and open standard for digital inking which will allow users to work across OS, hardware platforms and cloud services," and it believes that its effort will pave the way to greater collaboration and information sharing.
WILL as intended will be delivered by Wacom to partners as a Software Developer's Kit (SDK) to integrate into hardware or software enabling everyone to speak the same universal inking language. WILL shall also come with an ink engine with a variety of graphical tools and features that will run consistently on most platforms. The new ink data format is an abstract language that describes strokes independent from any particular input technology. WILL contains a set of development Application Programming Interfaces (API) to make use of a variety of hardware features.
The company claims that the technology is open to different input technologies including finger touch, various Wacom pens, as well as third-party pen technologies. Upcoming Wacom technologies will also include WILL support as an integral part of their feature set.
Wacom is proposing that WILL include the integration of metadata, as well as a possible security certificate for DRM or other concerns. Consumers should be able to share and memo on a travel diary, sign purchase orders, integrate pictures, and also show location in mapping applications and services if the protocol is widely adopted.
It is unknown when the software will become availability. Also unknown is the willingness of other manufacturers to adopt the Wacom standard.