From a company that has long contented itself with simply designing and creating pen tablets, Wacom now sees itself in an industry leadership role with the release of its second generation Bamboo tablet range, unveiled today in Sydney. Global leader? It's a bold claim.
Wacom Australia's managing director David Spencer backs up the claim, explaining that Wacom, with its new Bamboo range, is bringing multi-touch computing to the desktop for less than $100 and offers a product that combines multi-touch and pen interface for less than $160.
OK. Now you're talking. I've long been a fan of Wacom tablets but only ever been able to afford one of the dinky A5 pen tablets without any of the fancy-schmancy bits (such as the 2nd gen Bamboo's ExpressKeys) and so it spends a lot of time gathering dust. More affordable, more features = good.
However, an achingly long FAQ issued with the announcement reveals the company is quietly planning for world domination of the desktop input device market through innovation and clever positioning. Hang on, that sounds familiar. Oh yeah, business planning 101. Wacom, has it not ever been thus?
In other Wacom news, the company today also revealed a new suite of tools and applications developed exclusively for the Bamboo range are now available for free download. Bamboo Dock is a collection of applications and widgets, all developed around Adobe Air. Bamboo users can download the dock and review the available array of free tools or ‘Mini’s’ by reading overviews and user comments or watching videos that explain the function and use of each one.
Kind of like an app store, really. I popped in there just before posting this item to check out the goods. A couple caught my eye, among them a Twitter client that tweets doodles, and Mah Jong, which seems a game well suited to a tablet.
Wacom also played its hand in the Windows 7 game, announcing the launch of a new sensor system with support for the multi-touch functions built in to Windows 7, while re-iterating its support for current operating systems.