Designed for rough concepts and creative brainstorming, Inkling bridges the gap between paper sketching and digital drawing by giving users at the front end of the creative process a way to rough-out ideas with real ink on paper and capture their concepts digitally so that they can be later refined on their computer.
Wacom Inkling is a new digital sketch pen that captures a digital likeness of your work while you sketch with its ballpoint tip on any sketchbook or standard piece of paper. Inkling even allows users to create layers in the digital file while sketching on paper in the following creative software applications: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
The Inkling digital sketch pen is comprised of both hardware and software components. Hardware includes both the pen and a wireless receiver that captures a likeness of the sketch and stores it digitally. The ballpoint pen uses Wacom’s pressure sensing technology (1024 levels of sensitivity) to detect how hard the pen is being pressed to the paper while sketching. These pressure variations will appear in the digital version of your drawing. The Inkling is an interesting take on the familiar drawing tablet—simply because there’s no tablet. Instead, you clip the Inkling onto a piece of paper, draw with the pen (which lays down regular ink), and then watch as your sketches appear magically on the computer screen simultaneously, or see them later when you return to your computer and transfer entire drawings at once.
To get started, you need a PC running either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP SP3, or a Mac running OS X 10.4.0 or later. The Wacom Inkling package includes the digital pen and receiver, a charging case with a USB cable, a small printed manual, and four spare ink cartridges that stay inside the charging case. The thick-but-lightweight digital pen measures 6.1 by 0.7 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 0.7 ounces, while the small, plastic receiver measures 0.7 by 2.8 by 1.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.4 ounces. The design is pretty slick. The only assembly is making sure you insert the tiny round battery into the top of the pen cap. Aside from everything being self-contained, you can charge both the pen and the receiver simultaneously, just by connecting the small cable to any free USB port on your computer. Then, with the pen inserted into the charging case, you see two separate LEDs while charging the Inkling, one for the device and one for the pen. Both charge in less than three hours; the receiver contains a lithium-polymer battery, while the pen uses a replaceable nickel metal hydride cell.