Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wacom Bamboo now available in a Touch Version

Wacom Bamboo Touch.jpg
For several years now, I've been a fan of the Wacom company. The company makes input "slates" that allow you to draw or manipulate the screen/software with a simulated pen device. This is especially handy in a clinical environment when you want to draw on a radiography or photo so that the patient has a better understanding of their situation. Now the company has released their Bamboo product with another cool feature. In addition to input from the "pen" you can also control the curser, draw, etc with your finger. That's right, the "slate" now functions like the touchpad of your favorite laptop. Bamboo is available from most major electronics retailers and works great in a dental environment. Here is the press release with all the pertinent info:

Get a feel for Bamboo’s new multi-touch technology

Wacom introduces first interactive tablet combining multi-touch and pen input, ushering in a more intuitive, simple and inspiring way to work with computers

Thursday 24th September: Wacom today announces Bamboo second generation – the first interactive tablet that merges multi-touch functionality with pen tablet technology in a single device. Based on current consumer trends and the introduction of touch devices such as the Apple iPhone, Bamboo provides a simple and spontaneous way of using a computer. It is operated by either multi-touch (finger-based input) or the digital pen when tasks require more accuracy and precision. Four different products are introduced in this range – Bamboo, Bamboo Fun, Bamboo Pen and Bamboo Touch.

Bamboo is aimed at consumers who use computers as part of their digital lifestyle to communicate, share and create content. It enables anyone to be creative. It is the perfect tool for self-expression and personalisation when producing everyday documents, presentations and blogs, or when communicating with friends, colleagues and family through social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

Merging pen and touch technology into one device brings the best of both worlds, making it even easier, quicker and more fun to use a computer. With Bamboo second generation, a simple tap with a finger on the digital pad will select an icon, open a menu or start an application. In addition, a gesture using two fingers enables users to simply rotate an image or document, flip through a digital photo album or presentation, scroll through a blog or an excel sheet and zoom in and out of a photo or map.

The advanced pen technology built into Bamboo means that the pen is still central to the Bamboo experience. A few simple strokes with the pen can add a doodle, signature or comment to any digital document. The process is similar to using a traditional pen and paper and provides pinpoint accuracy, helping users to easily draw natural strokes or retouch digital images, enhancing anyone’s creative flair. It is the ideal tool to activate pen-based functions of current operating systems and to use with creative software that supports pressure sensitivity.

Users can alternate between the touch and pen functions easily and quickly. If the finger is in contact with the tablet surface, touch works. If the pen tip is brought near the surface, touch is automatically turned off and pen input works instead.

The Bamboo experience is enhanced through Bamboo Dock and Bamboo Minis, an ever-increasing series of small but useful applications that enable users to do anything from digital doodling and sketching, to adding handwritten notes to a map or playing addictive little games.

Bamboo second generation is ultra slim (8.5 mm), optimised for right and left-handed use and provides an integrated pen holder for useful storage of the new and lightweight digital pen. In addition, there are four customisable short cut keys.

Bamboo
With a sleek, black design Bamboo offers pen and multi-touch input in a single device and is ideal for consumers in the home office or workplace. It can be used to customise emails, letters, spreadsheets, presentations and documents with signatures, notes, doodles and scribbles. In addition, it simplifies navigating around the computer and the Internet. Bamboo is priced at £74.99.

Bamboo Fun
Styled in silver and also combining pen and multi-touch input, Bamboo Fun comes in two sizes – small and medium. It is a versatile device ideal for consumers who are keen to develop their creative skills. Users can easily produce more natural and authentic-looking paintings, sketches and drawings as well as retouch, improve, manage and share digital photographs. Bamboo Fun Small and Medium are priced at £89.99 and £169.99 respectively.

The range is completed by the Bamboo Touch (touch input only) and Bamboo Pen (pen input only) which cost £59.99 and £49.99. All prices include VAT.

Software
Each product of the range (except Bamboo Touch) offers Bamboo Scribe – a powerful handwriting recognition; Bamboo Explore – an advanced search tool for Windows and Bamboo Space – an online application to collect and share ideas. In addition, Bamboo Pen comes with ArtRage; Bamboo Fun Small offers ArtRage and Photoshop Elements; Bamboo Fun Medium comes with ArtRage, Photoshop Elements and Painter Essentials.

Bamboo works with current Windows and Mac operating systems including Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6.

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