You might have heard about Adobe diving into the hardware scene this week with two new product explorations.
Mighty is a cloud-connected, pressure-senstive stylus, and Napoleon is a digital ruler and template tool bringing the efficiency of old-school drafting tools to tablets. Both address the fact that after decades of digital design tool evolution, designers still ditch them in favor of pen and paper for an important part of their creative workflows—sketching and natural drawing.
MindTribe led development of both Mighty and Napoleon.
Mighty simulates a pen-and-paper drawing experience on the iPad as a high performance, pressure sensitive stylus. It’s also cloud-connected, to enable copy-and-paste across devices (say, from your tablet to someone else’s phone) and instantly pull down your personal content and preferences from the Creative Cloud to wherever you are.
Napoleon hearkens back to the drafting table era by allowing you to quickly draw straight lines and basic shapes, a là your T-square and circle template. Deceptively simple, this is one of those things that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Innovative Hardware, From a Software Company
When you think of innovative hardware, you probably don’t think of software companies. When you think of being first to create a product to solve a user problem in a new way, you probably don’t think of a large company.
Furthermore, Mighty isn’t a hacked-together prototype. From the metal body, which is the smallest and thinnest-walled structure hydroforming vendors have ever undertaken, to the smallest ”rubber nib”-style tip of any active stylus available, to the pressure sensitivity mechanism users have said is better than any other product on the market, Mighty is an exploration based in hard reality.
How’d Adobe Do It?
Easy: don’t develop hardware the way most hardware is developed.