Wacom has added multi-touch capabilities to its popular line of Bamboo tablets. There are now 2 tablets in the Bamboo family that now offer multi-touch capabilities – the Bamboo Touch; and the Bamboo Pen and Touch.
With the new Bamboo Touch, you can navigate your PC or Mac in a totally different manner than using a mouse. It works much like the multi-touch screen on an iPhone. The Bamboo Touch uses 9 key gestures to do things like click, zoom, scroll and rotate. It also has 4 programmable buttons to take care of common actions.
Bamboo Pen and Touch has two sensors, one for pen and one for multi-touch. What’s more, the tablet automatically recognizes when you are using your fingers or pen on the tablet’s surface.
The Wacom Bamboo Touch carries an initial retail price of $69, while the Bamboo Pen and Touch runs $99. Check availability on Amazon.com:
My first take on these multi-touch products is that they are quite cool and could be used productively. I have an older Bamboo tablet that I break out for image editing sometimes, but the multi-touch capabilities of this new series give me the hope that I might one day soon be able to ditch my mouse for good. We’ll have to wait and see how the product performs in real world use to make that call, but I happily welcome effort from Wacom on this new feature.
More details below.
Wacom Multi-Touch Bamboo News Release
Vancouver, WA – Sept. 24, 2009 – Wacom® today announced an exciting new computer input solution with the introduction of Multi-Touch in its new family of Bamboo tablets. Bamboo tablets are USB peripherals that deliver natural and intuitive input to desktop or laptop computer users. With the ultimate goal of creating harmony between humans and technology, Wacom combines Multi-Touch (finger-based input) with pen input to deliver an entirely new standard in human-computer interaction. “Multi-Touch provides a very natural and intuitive way for users to navigate and interact with applications,” said Dennis Hoff, senior consumer product manager for Wacom. “By combining Multi-Touch with our renowned pen technology, Bamboo provides users with a new computer input approach that is not only extremely flexible, but friendly, fresh and fun.”
Bamboo includes a family of five distinct tablets: touch-only, pen-only and three versions of the pen and Multi-Touch combination. Bamboo offers choices to give end-users the freedom to work with their computer the way they want. Bamboo also goes beyond current mouse and other input solutions by adding the power of Multi-Touch gestures such as zoom, scroll, pan and rotate. Compatible with Windows® or Mac® operating systems, Bamboo is easy to use and introduces a way of computing that is about as natural as one can get.
Bamboo’s timely introduction reflects modern design and functionality by offering new ways to interact with computer-based content. “Multi-Touch and pen input are highly complementary input methodologies, each providing distinct benefits to the overall creative experience. We live in a world where people demand immediate and direct interaction during computer sessions,” continues Hoff. “Making that interaction as natural and easy as possible is Bamboo’s raison d’être.”
Getting In Touch with Bamboo
The next generation Bamboo family is as diverse as the user it intends to serve. While Multi-Touch input might be foreign to some, there is a whole generation of touch-centric users who have emerged thanks to the introduction of mobile devices, such as the Apple® iPhone™ and even larger surface displays like those found in Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Touch is here to stay and Bamboo addresses this growing affinity for touch by providing a line of inspirational products that meet this phenomenon head on. “We are quite literally putting input control and expression into the hands of the user by making Multi-Touch available for everyone,” explains Hoff. “It truly represents a positive move within the user community by introducing a natural, human element to the computing experience.”
Wacom’s patented, pressure-sensitive, battery-free and cordless pen is still central to the Bamboo experience. While Multi-Touch gives users a fresh new way to interact and navigate with their computer, pen input delivers the precise input control and a true pen-on-paper feel. Whether annotating, drawing or editing, the pen is the ideal tool to use when working with software applications, especially those creative applications that support pressure sensitivity. One can even erase mistakes with the pen’s digital eraser. When combined with Multi-Touch, the Bamboo pen becomes a natural extension to the whole input process, providing users an enjoyable computer input solution for work and play.
The new Bamboo family is comprised of three core products: Bamboo Touch; Bamboo Pen; and Bamboo Pen and Touch. Two additional tablets, Bamboo Craft and Bamboo Fun form the rest of the lineup, each having its own features and benefits to satisfy different consumer tastes and needs.
For computer users looking to replace a mouse or augment integrated laptop input, Bamboo Touch ($69 USD) provides an exciting way to work with the computer, opening the door to a brand new world of enjoyment with Multi-Touch. Like all Bamboo tablets, Bamboo Touch simply plugs into a computer with the attached USB cable. A complete tutorial on all touch gestures is included in the box.
Bamboo Pen ($69 USD), like the name implies, is a pen-only tablet and well suited to end-users who would like to employ the pen for digital ink and creativity. The pen delivers accuracy and pressure-sensitive control and allows the user to customize two side buttons within the Wacom Tablet driver software. Bamboo Pen comes with Corel® Painter™ Essentials, a creative software application with realistic tools for sketching and painting.
Bamboo Pen and Touch ($99 USD) provides amazing flexibility by offering pen and Multi-Touch input in a single device. This tablet is geared to users seeking an input device for the office or home that allows them to navigate with their fingers or use Bamboo’s patented battery-free and cordless pen technology for pen-specific work. Users can alternate between the two input methods easily and quickly. Simply, if the finger is in contact with the tablet surface, touch becomes the primary input. If the pen tip is brought into proximity to the tablet surface, touch is automatically turned off and pen input controls the cursor. For example, one could easily use Multi-Touch to select icons and scroll through a document and conveniently switch to the pen when an annotation or quick sketch is needed. Bamboo Pen and Touch comes with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements for photo editing and retouching as well as Nik® software’s filters for photo enhancement.
Bamboo Craft, offering pen and touch input and included software, is ideally suited for today’s scrapbooker and crafter. Bamboo Craft users will enjoy using the pen to retouch and edit photos as well as create and embellish designs. Users can conveniently employ Multi-Touch input to zoom-in on or rotate an image. When ready to add a handwritten note or signature, simply pick up the pen and let it flow. Bamboo Craft ($129 USD) ships with an amazing array of software and valuable items, including Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter Essentials, Nik filters, 26 digital scrapbooking lessons from renowned designer Jane Conner-ziser, a free scrapbooking album from Shutterfly®, digital craft embellishments, a coupon from Digital Scrapbook University for a free online class, a free one-year subscription to the popular magazine, Scrapbooking and Beyond® and a gift certificate from the e-store at CafePress®.
Bamboo Fun ($199 USD), in stylish silver, combines pen and Multi-Touch in a larger-sized tablet than Bamboo Craft or the other Bamboo solutions. It is ideal for home creatives or photo enthusiasts looking for more control and freedom of movement when their fingers or pen are positioned on the tablet surface. Bamboo Fun ships with Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter Essentials and Nik photographic filters.
Bamboo OS Support
Bamboo will work with current and next generation operating systems such as Microsoft® Windows® 7. In fact, Bamboo supports Windows 7 out-of-the-box along with Windows XP, Vista™ and Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5. Additionally, Bamboo supports Multi-Touch gestures such as pan, scroll, zoom, rotate and forwards/backwards.
“By combining touch and pen input, Wacom continues its tradition of providing human interface solutions that embrace and support the creativity and personality of the user,” said Masahiko Yamada, president and CEO of Wacom. “As our relationship with computers evolve, so does Wacom’s quest to make certain that the very characteristics that make us human find their way into our technology and that users discover a whole new world of digital exploration and freedom.”
Founded in 1983, Wacom’s vision to bring people and technology closer together through natural interface technologies has made it the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays and digital interface solutions. The advanced technology of Wacom’s intuitive input devices has been used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashions and designs around the world
and provide business and home users with the ability to explore digital content creation in a comfortable, natural way.