The International Consumer Electronics Show is currently underway and all sorts of new gadgets and gizmos are being unveiled. Today I stumbled upon a glowing review from MacWorld of a new iPad stylus that, as far as I know, is the first to offer true pressure sensitivity for iOS. If it lives up to the hype, the Jot Touch from Adonit could be a real breakthrough for digital artists.
Companies like Wacom have been making pressure-sensitive drawing equipment for years. I personally own two Wacom Cintiq’s (a large desktop model and a small portable one), and before that I used a Wacom tablet for many years. The technology exists, Apple just isn’t interested. Their iPhone/iPad touch screen technology is designed for chunky fingertips, not fine tipped pens, so up until now drawing on the iPad has been somewhat limited and frustrating (as I’ve written about before).
Several drawing apps have attempted to close the gap with clever workarounds, i.e. the faster you draw the stroke the thinner it gets, but none have been able to achieve true pressure sensitivity. It looks like Adonit has finally cracked the code by combining a sophisticated pen with a clever use of Bluetooth. According to the MacWorld review the results are impressive, which means it could even give Wacom a run for its money. It won’t be cheap – it will apparently ring up at just under $100 – but if it lives up to its hype it would be worth the investment.
If other rumors are to be believed (and that’s a big if), the iPad 3 will be unveiled later this year with a new super-HD screen. That, combined with a quality pressure-sensitive stylus, would be a killer combo.