Adobe Debuts “Project Mighty” Smart Stylus For Tablets And “Napoleon,” A Digital Ruler And Guide

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Adobe, Gadgets, Technology

20130507-102401.jpg. Adobe surprised everyone by showing off a new
hardware effort today at its annual MAX conference,
including Project Mighty and Napoleon. Mighty is a
pressure-sensitive digital pen that works with tablets
and stores a wide variety of settings and preferences
in the cloud. Adobe showed it off working on an iPad, and it looked similar to what we’ve seen from existing
pressure-sensitive input devices from other
companies, but with tighter integration into Adobe
products. It can pull in stored Kuler color palette themes from
Creative Cloud, for instance, as well as brush settings
and a cloud clipboard that stores assets you’ve
created previously for use in new drawings. Moving
from tablet to tablet preserves the settings associated
with your pen, which makes it possible to take everything from tablet to tablet. Napoleon looks a little like a modern Apple remote,
but allows you to easily draw straight lines and arcs
via snap tools combined with digital pens like Mighty.
It’s almost like having traditional drafting tools
including squares and triangles, but better suited to
digital media. For precise drafting and more serious, demanding graphics work, these two tools in tandem
should help push creativity on mobile devices quite a
bit further than what we have available today. The Mighty pen itself looks similar to something like
the Jot Touch 4 pressure sensitive pen, but with full
access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud services behind it.
It’s a little like an entire artist’s box in a single device,
judging by what Adobe has shown us on stage today.
It also takes advantage of non-stylus touch, too, in a way that looks novel, allowing users to do things like
erase with their free hand. But when paired with
Napoleon, it becomes much more powerful than what
we’ve already seen, which should really push the
envelope on mobile creativity. The pen boasts an LED on the back that can display
different colors depending on what a user is doing
with it, and there’s a button for connecting via
Bluetooth. The ruler has two touchpoints on its
underside to give the tablet its orientation, and the
pen has managed to make Apple’s iPad recognize even small touches, which it actively tries to ignore
using its built-in accidental touch software. Adobe
isn’t saying exactly how it pulled that one off,
however. This is still essentially a project in the R&D phase,
Adobe noted, but we will definitely see it materialize
down the road as a real product, they said. The real
question will be how this can compare to for-purpose
devices like the Wacom series of tablets, which are
much better than anything else out there in terms of pressure sensitivity, latency and overall ability to
mimic the experience of working with traditional
artists’ materials.

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