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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Napoleon ruler


     


    Gee, I hope it isn't too complex.


     


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

  • Reply 2 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    mgregormgregor Posts: 15member
    The ruler looks pretty nice and I'd like to see some more features of the pen. Looks like a nice start.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    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."

  • Reply 5 of 37
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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."
  • Reply 6 of 37
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    How much will they cost per month? Will I have to send them back if I stop my subscription?
  • Reply 7 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member


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

  • Reply 9 of 37
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,914member
    Very cool!
  • Reply 10 of 37
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,299member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 37
    normmnormm Posts: 653member
    "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).
  • Reply 13 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm loving this! I hope Apple will be including a digitizer in their iPads in the near future.

    melgross wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    gadgetcanadagadgetcanada Posts: 423member


    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

  • Reply 15 of 37
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member


    These are available to rent, right?  image


     


    Doh!  bdkennedy beat me to the punch!

  • Reply 16 of 37
    rothgarrrothgarr Posts: 58member
    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...
  • Reply 17 of 37
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,234member
    Wow. That's the first thing that Adobe have created for over a decade that isn't utter shite.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    am8449am8449 Posts: 376member
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 37
    blackfrogblackfrog Posts: 18member
    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
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