Wacom has announced (via Surface Pro Artist) that it is almost ready to launch its first "dual protocol pen" — a digital stylus designed work over both Wacom's Active ES and Microsoft's pen protocols. Broken down, that means the pen will be the first to work on Microsoft's own Surface products and Wacom devices.
An exact release date wasn't given, and we still don't know what it will look like (that's the Huawei MatePen above), but Wacom does say it is putting the "final touches" on the pen, and that it will be released under the Bamboo brand. Given that it's been almost a year since we first heard about the licensing agreement between Wacom and Microsoft that led to the pen's development, it's definitely good to hear that it's still in the works. And it couldn't come at a better time, as inking features heavily in Microsoft's upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10.
In any case, we'll bring you more once Wacom has a release date and price ready to go. In the meantime, you can check out Wacom's full press release below:
Wacom Putting Final Touches on New Bamboo Stylus that will Support Both Active ES(TM) Pen and Microsoft Pen Protocols
TOKYO, Japan—January 2, 2017—Wacom Co., Ltd announced today that the company is developing a new stylus capable of using both Wacom's own Active ES™ Pen protocol and Microsoft Pen Protocol.
The new stylus, which will be released under the Bamboo brand, is the first result of collaboration between Wacom and Microsoft based on the licensing agreement in March 2016. Incorporating the two leading pen protocols, the stylus will offer the broadest compatibility on the Windows market, enabling users to alternate seamlessly between multiple pen-equipped devices with a click and tap into ink applications including Windows Ink.
Styli have continued to gain popularity, amid growing recognition of their potential for improving productivity and creativity with mobile devices. Targeting this market, Wacom has since 2014 shipped its Active ES Pen solutions for a range of OEM customers. Microsoft has been actively promoting ink with Windows devices and this culminated in Windows Ink in 2016, where styli play a primary role for creating and manipulating content. Both companies concur the potential of digital ink and pen have in store for us.
"As more devices come onto the market equipped with styli and a broadening array of ink solutions emerge, it is vital to stay focused on the customer experience. The new stylus can be used seamlessly across devices, enabling the user to take advantage of digital ink solutions such as Windows Ink," said Mike Gay, SVP in charge of Wacom's Consumer Business Unit.
Wacom announced the establishment of Digital Stationery Consortium, Inc. in October 2016, which aims to promote the wide adoption and market development of digital stationery under an open partnership, harnessing the power of digital pens and digital ink, to serve creative minds in the most natural and intuitive way. A single stylus which can unify two different technologies fits this objective.
Wacom and Digital Stationery Consortium, Inc. will jointly host the event "Connected Ink Las Vegas" on January 6, to establish digital ink as universal, open and smart content format by promoting and managing WILL™ (Wacom Ink Layer Language)-based ink formats.
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