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Adobe reveals new foray into hardware with Project Mighty smart stylus, Napoleon ruler

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Creative software giant Adobe unveiled on Monday the company's new move into hardware for creatives, showing off its Project Mighty stylus and Napoleon ruler and hinting that more hardware products may be in the offing.



The new hardware offerings from Adobe pair via low-energy Bluetooth with a mobile device and leverages Adobe's mobile Creative Cloud software to enable rich content creation features. The Project Mighty stylus is a pressure-sensitive pen with a single button which, when pressed, brings up a menu of design options and content, including drawings and files from a user's Creative Cloud clipboard. Adobe's software recognizes whether a user is interacting with the screen with the stylus or with a finger, allowing for using the stylus solely as an input method and one's fingers to erase.

The stylus was designed in collaboration with industrial design firm Ammunition. The firm decided on a twisting, triangular shape for the stylus in order to give it a more ergonomic feel that conforms to the hand.

The Napoleon ruler can be placed atop a user's mobile device screen and, in combination with the stylus, allows for the creation of sharp and specific shapes such as lines and curves.

Adobe gave no information on when consumers could expect to buy either device. The company did mention, though, that Project Mighty and Napoleon are "just the beginning" of Adobe's efforts in pairing hardware and software, possibly hinting that more devices are in the offing.

The hardware announcements came in the midst of a big day for Adobe, one in which the company revealed it was going subscription-only and rebranded its Creative Suite lineup as Creative Cloud.
post #2 of 37
Napoleon ruler

 

Gee, I hope it isn't too complex.

 

What's next from Adobe, Suleiman drafting compass? Alexander protractor? Gorbechev theodolite?


Edited by Tallest Skil - 5/6/13 at 12:43pm

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 37
Interesting ideas, especially the 'ruler' idea. Could also be nice with some virtual French curves.

I still don't like their push into the Creative Cloud. I'll take backups online, but no way I want file size restrictions, them constantly pushing me to upgrade storage and recurring monthly fees.

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post #4 of 37
The ruler looks pretty nice and I'd like to see some more features of the pen. Looks like a nice start.
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgregor View Post

The ruler looks pretty nice and I'd like to see some more features of the pen. Looks like a nice start.

 

"And boy, have we patented it."

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post #6 of 37
Still needs a hardware digitising layer on the iPad itself for this stuff to truly work properly. Notice how carefully he avoided touching the screen at all times.

If you have to worry about where you place your hand on the screen and hold the pen in an un-natural or unusual way to get it to work, then it isn't "drawing."
post #7 of 37
How much will they cost per month? Will I have to send them back if I stop my subscription?
post #8 of 37
You have a free hand and yet Adobe isn't seeing the value in it. I imagine a simple triple tap with the off-hand bringing up the circular menu of tools is far more intuitive and ergonomic than stopping looking at the pen and clicking it again.

They should have implemented more touch interfaces. Then again Apple has patented what I just described so they are working around it.
post #9 of 37

He's accurate with the ruler because the arc/line are pre-snapped so any idiot can draw a perfect arc or straight line.

post #10 of 37
Very cool!
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Still needs a hardware digitising layer on the iPad itself for this stuff to truly work properly. Notice how carefully he avoided touching the screen at all times.

If you have to worry about where you place your hand on the screen and hold the pen in an un-natural or unusual way to get it to work, then it isn't "drawing."

I've got other pens for my iPad that have software that ignore your palm or finger when the pen is touching down and between. Apple is supposed to be working on newer software to eliminate a problem with activating a screen touch with a thin bezel, and perhaps that could be used to solve this problem as well.

I do wish that Apple adopted something like what Samsung is doing with a screen that uses Wacon technology for level control and precision. Of course, Android has always had a problem with precision anyway, but still.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


I've got other pens for my iPad that have software that ignore your palm or finger when the pen is touching down and between. Apple is supposed to be working on newer software to eliminate a problem with activating a screen touch with a thin bezel, and perhaps that could be used to solve this problem as well.

I do wish that Apple adopted something like what Samsung is doing with a screen that uses Wacon technology for level control and precision. Of course, Android has always had a problem with precision anyway, but still.

 

There are at least several display types I've seen (on YouTube) that enable pressure sensing in a natural way without a pen. A display that can sense a pen and ignore the palm and also still function using fingers only would be a good path for Apple to follow... at least to get ahead of Microsoft, Samsung and whichever low-cost Chinese companies rise as competitors in the future.

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post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"And boy, have we patented it."

There are several Bluetooth (and other) pressure sensitive styluses already available for iOS devices, so I don't think Adobe patents are going to be a big issue (unless they buy these other companies).
post #14 of 37
I'm loving this! I hope Apple will be including a digitizer in their iPads in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I do wish that Apple adopted something like what Samsung is doing with a screen that uses Wacon technology for level control and precision. Of course, Android has always had a problem with precision anyway, but still.

I hope so, too, but looking at the Galaxy Note 8.0' starting price of $399 I'm guessing that Wacom digitizer is still too expensive to put into each and every iPad they sell.

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post #15 of 37

These are available to rent, right?  lol.gif

 

Doh!  bdkennedy beat me to the punch!

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post #16 of 37
Ug, looks like you can't rest your hand on the tablet. Makes sense since it would register as taps or whatever but I have to think that your arms get wicked tired hovering over the tablet...
post #17 of 37
Wow. That's the first thing that Adobe have created for over a decade that isn't utter shite.
post #18 of 37
The ruler is a neat idea. But couldn't they have implemented it without the physical ruler? What about just using the fingers of your left hand to define the path of the straight lines & arcs?
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

The ruler is a neat idea. But couldn't they have implemented it without the physical ruler? What about just using the fingers of your left hand to define the path of the straight lines & arcs?

 

How are you going to control the arc? The end points? The ruler acts as a guide for both the human hand and the sensors.

post #20 of 37
Too bad this pen is tied to Adobe Cloud. I would pay $200 for the pair, but the only way I'm going to start a cloud subscription is if it's less than $10/mo. And we know it's going to cost more than that.

There must have been some interesting battles inside Adobe's Marketing department, between the Sell It Standalone crowd, and the We Must Create Value For Cloud crowd.

Hm. Maybe someone will jailbreak it ... :-D
post #21 of 37
I like both products v much and it's a good video presentation but did he really say 'ideating' ??? and his last sentence, "we're only beginning to scratch the surface" aaaarrrrggh - not the thing to say to an iDevice owner... :-)
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post

Too bad this pen is tied to Adobe Cloud. I would pay $200 for the pair, but the only way I'm going to start a cloud subscription is if it's less than $10/mo. And we know it's going to cost more than that.

There must have been some interesting battles inside Adobe's Marketing department, between the Sell It Standalone crowd, and the We Must Create Value For Cloud crowd.

Hm. Maybe someone will jailbreak it ... :-D

 

Yeah, it's a no-go with me also. I'd rather own the stuff and never pay for a monthly subscription. There are too many alternatives that make far more sense.

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post #23 of 37

Fail.  Stylus bad. SJ says so.

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post

Fail.  Stylus bad. SJ says so.

I originally got a Wacom many years ago just for graphics and image tweaking but it never leaves my hand even when I'm not doing those, though it's not the same as a stylus on the screen.  But when I sit down at my own computer the first thing I always do is pick up the stylus even if I'm just checking mail.

 

 I always smirk at that Jobs stylus quote.  Same as everything else he ever said.  If it wasn't currently in Apple's pipeline it was a terrible idea.

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

I always smirk at that Jobs stylus quote.  Same as everything else he ever said.  If it wasn't currently in Apple's pipeline it was a terrible idea.

You need to look at his quote in context. He didn't say that anything other than your finger was a bad idea, he was commenting on the state of smartphones at the time. If you're primary use of the device needs to be from a stylus because you have a UI designed for a stylus you've failed. That is still true today. That doesn't mean there aren't uses for a stylus that a finger can't replicate, it just means it can't be the primary way you interact with the device.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 37
This looks great! I'd like to see less lag in the pen, but it is still really new. I laughed at the Napolean = Little Ruler joke.
post #27 of 37
Are there other uses for this pen? Such as using the stylus to write on PDFs or to write notes and have it convert to text. Or is this just for artist?
post #28 of 37

So kickass, im totally getting them.
wont need a new Wacom :D 

post #29 of 37

I wonder about the ruler & wether it has a soft underside to it? Since heave work after a year on your device would probable cause damage

to the screen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

It looks pretty cool until I saw the lag of the stylus movements to the iPad. But this has more to do with the iPad limitations. Right now the iPad input latency is around 100ms. Apple needs to get the input latency down to about 10ms (or better 1ms) then the iPad will be very good at drawing and markup. Microsoft made an interesting mockup tablet video comparing various input latencies at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vOvQCPLkPt4#!

Well that's what's always bothered me, but I haven't tried any drawing apps but now & again you see they get a bit of lag while drawing. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

There are at least several display types I've seen (on YouTube) that enable pressure sensing in a natural way without a pen. A display that can sense a pen and ignore the palm and also still function using fingers only would be a good path for Apple to follow... at least to get ahead of Microsoft, Samsung and whichever low-cost Chinese companies rise as competitors in the future.

That's true but sticking with it's Adobe the gloves will help.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Still needs a hardware digitising layer on the iPad itself for this stuff to truly work properly. Notice how carefully he avoided touching the screen at all times.

If you have to worry about where you place your hand on the screen and hold the pen in an un-natural or unusual way to get it to work, then it isn't "drawing."

Well you can always get artist-gloves like SmudgeGuard or similar.

post #30 of 37
Pretty nice. He looks really proud 1smile.gif
The pen tips need to get thinner though in order to get truly useful. Is Apple preventing tiny input shapes, or is it a hardware drawback of the touch technology they chose?

ps. what's up with the latency? Looks like a really slow drawing engine there. What software is he using?
post #31 of 37

I'm on board!  This is the first Adobe product I have been interested in in a long time.

post #32 of 37
I'm glad someone is going to get into the market and Compete. Although Adobe has taken what COULD be something awesome and guaranteed it's failure. A pen that stops working when the payments aren't made? It's not that I'm apposed to leasing -- oh wait, yes I am -- because it's the slippery slope to indentured servitude. Kids getting out of College are paying back for this "privilege" for longer and longer periods -- a "privilege" that mainly benefits whatever company they work for which didn't pay taxes to cover that cost. So now I've got a pen and ruler that stop working and it can be tied into a draft from my bank account. Along with the Adobe cloud software, my car, my mortgage. I can visualize an IV stuck in my vein and if I don't take enough blood from others -- I run out. Why is this always on the creative people? Why no briefcases that can't unlock if you skip a payment? Someone above wondered about the technical reason why fingers cannot be used for the arcs like the ruler -- the real reason? Think; "Skylanders." It's a kids game that is incomplete until you've bought about 12 highly priced plastic figures to sit on top of their port. Each character has special capabilities and hack-proof chips so that nobody else can make them. Why can't the pen just be laid on it's side and it's suddenly a ruler? Too obvious; the PEN has special hack-proof capabilities that cannot be copied due to DMCA. If you don't rent the ruler as well and get the other 10 characters, Adobe cannot squeeze more money out of you. Why not a Dragon for Dragon Dictate? A Dog to go "fetch my data" from Google and it won't come home unless I keep buying virtual Scooby Snacks®.... What a concept, an i-Pad that is just a window to continuing fees, and you buy a bunch of plastic characters to enhance it's capabilities. Time to repurpose the "Dora the Explorer" backpacks for all the computer chipped pieces of plastic junk we will carry around to use our software. Do get the complete capabilities -- you end up anchoring your iPad to your desk at home and get a dongle hub. Make sure you get Gigabit internet connection with an "actual" unlimited data plan as your devices will need to communicate back. FaceBook hookup and linkedIn are required for full use of devices.
post #33 of 37
I'm glad someone is going to get into the market and Compete. Although Adobe has taken what COULD be something awesome and guaranteed it's failure. A pen that stops working when the payments aren't made? It's not that I'm apposed to leasing -- oh wait, yes I am -- because it's the slippery slope to indentured servitude. Kids getting out of College are paying back for this "privilege" for longer and longer periods -- a "privilege" that mainly benefits whatever company they work for which didn't pay taxes to cover that cost. So now I've got a pen and ruler that stop working and it can be tied into a draft from my bank account. Along with the Adobe cloud software, my car, my mortgage. I can visualize an IV stuck in my vein and if I don't take enough blood from others -- I run out. Why is this always on the creative people? Why no briefcases that can't unlock if you skip a payment? Someone above wondered about the technical reason why fingers cannot be used for the arcs like the ruler -- the real reason? Think; "Skylanders." It's a kids game that is incomplete until you've bought about 12 highly priced plastic figures to sit on top of their port. Each character has special capabilities and hack-proof chips so that nobody else can make them. Why can't the pen just be laid on it's side and it's suddenly a ruler? Too obvious; the PEN has special hack-proof capabilities that cannot be copied due to DMCA. If you don't rent the ruler as well and get the other 10 characters, Adobe cannot squeeze more money out of you. Why not a Dragon for Dragon Dictate? A Dog to go "fetch my data" from Google and it won't come home unless I keep buying virtual Scooby Snacks®.... What a concept, an i-Pad that is just a window to continuing fees, and you buy a bunch of plastic characters to enhance it's capabilities. Time to repurpose the "Dora the Explorer" backpacks for all the computer chipped pieces of plastic junk we will carry around to use our software. Do get the complete capabilities -- you end up anchoring your iPad to your desk at home and get a dongle hub. Make sure you get Gigabit internet connection with an "actual" unlimited data plan as your devices will need to communicate back. FaceBook hookup and linkedIn are required for full use of devices.
post #34 of 37
@ Fake_William_Shatner,

You would do yourself a favour by using paragraphs.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #35 of 37
Pretty cool. Although he might have wanted to end the clip without saying "I think we're just scratching the surface!"
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

@ Fake_William_Shatner,

You would do yourself a favour by using paragraphs.

 

"Wut r prgrphs?"

 

lol.gif

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

Pretty nice. He looks really proud 1smile.gif
The pen tips need to get thinner though in order to get truly useful. Is Apple preventing tiny input shapes, or is it a hardware drawback of the touch technology they chose?

ps. what's up with the latency? Looks like a really slow drawing engine there. What software is he using?

I'm with you on the size of pen tip, I was always found those large rubbery pens for iOS to be absolutely useless. I would prefer if Apple would just use Wacom and be done with it already. I use Autosketch's Sketchbook, AsusTek's SuperNote and MS Word with handwriting enabled on a pretty regular bases on my Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. There is no way an iPad can beat a Active Digitizer and I just can't see Adobes new pen even coming close to it's accuracy, the iPad just wasn't designed for use with a pen, trying to force the issue just seems gimmicky to me. I also have a Wacom Bamboo Create with the wireless package for my Macbook Air, it's very portable and one of the coolest products I own for Photoshop. If you're going to draw, edit photos then there is no substitute for a MacBook with a Wacom board. Going the tablet route for photo editing, then I hate to say it but a Intel i5/i7 Windows 8 tablet with a Wacom pen is your only true option (you can always turn it into a Hackintosh), unless you have the cash to buy a Modbook for 3 grand.


Edited by Relic - 5/10/13 at 2:46am
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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