Adobe’s first hardware in the form of a ‘cloud pen’ and digital ruler

For creative professionals who have always longed for the feeling of pen and paper while they’ve worked with a stylus, mouse, and screen, Adobe Systems Inc. has two new tools that just might do the trick.

Touted as “the God stylus,” Project Mighty is a digital pen, while Project Napoleon is a digital ruler. Both products were designed with tablet users in mind, allowing creative professionals to combine “the accuracy, expressiveness and immediacy of pen and paper” with the Adobe Creative Cloud in digital form.

(Image: Adobe). Adobe's new digital pen and ruler, its first hardware releases.
(Image: Adobe). Adobe’s new digital pen and ruler, its first hardware releases.

Adobe made an announcement about the two new products at the Adobe Max conference back in May. Partnering with Adonit Inc., a company that produces styluses, Project Mighty and Napoleon will go on sale in the first half of 2014, according to a blog post on Adobe’s site. However, there’s no word as to pricing nor a more specific availability date.

Branded as a “cloud pen,” Project Mighty is closely linked to the Adobe Creative Cloud, keeping track of a user’s personal digital assets, brushes, and colours. It also allows users to copy and paste their work across devices. It has three sides to it, intended to be comfortable in the hand. For creative professionals who hold styluses or use their fingers on tablets, this might be a good replacement.

“The finger is simply not good enough for tablet drawing. It’s time to evolve again. What if Adobe made a pen?” said Geoff Dowd, experience design lead at Adobe, in a blog post on the company’s Web site. He added Adobe’s design team had been mulling over different ideas, and Project Mighty was the sixth idea they had flashed upon.

(Image: Adobe). Project Mighty, Adobe's new "cloud pen."
(Image: Adobe). Project Mighty, Adobe’s new “cloud pen.”

“The timing was right—customers needed a new tool. Tablets aren’t just for consumption anymore, they’re also for creation,” Dowd said. “There’s a lot of supporters. We sort of tapped into the zeitgeist and lots of serendipitous moments happened to get Mighty where it is today.”

And to support its new hardware products, as you might have expected, Adobe has also created new software to go with it. One piece of it is Project Parallel, an iPad app specially designed for Napoleon, the digital ruler. The software gives users the chance to draft their work and do straight-line sketching.

There’s also Project Contour, which allows users to take photos of objects or shapes with an iPhone and then access that photo on the iPad, using Napoleon. That allows users to simplify architectural line sketching and drawing.

Check out a video of Michael Gough, Adobe’s vice-president of experience design, introducing the two products here.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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