By Harry McCracken | Friday, July 2, 2010 at 10:30 am
If you like to use the iPad to create art, you want this.
Are they detecting the nib getting fatter as you press harder? If so, that is only a halfway solution. Pressure is only one thing that is needed. You also need to know the angle of the stylus and other information.
What is really needed is a Wacom Tablet that has a slot in it where you put the iPad in there to become the top of the tablet, and they connect via dock connector internally. Ideally, it would also be a case so the 2 pieces can be carried together. A Wacom tablet detects the position of the stylus in space as you work, it knows not just that you're pressing hard or soft (the stylus tip has a spring in it so that the whole stylus gets closer or further from the tablet as you press harder or softer), but also it detects what angle the stylus is at, which is necessary to emulate a pencil tip (drawing with the side of the nib is different than the tip), and whether you're pressing the button or a flow wheel to emulate airbrush or tattoo gun. A great feature with this kind of system is it wouldn't use the iPad digitizer at all. There's no need to separate hand presses from stylus presses because they each have their own digitizer. So you could paint with the stylus and smudge with the flat side of your hand, or the hand could be ignored entirely just by ignoring the iPad digitizer.
OS X already has support for Wacom tablet in software, it knows how to translate the position of the stylus into useful performance data for art tools. There is a lot of software that should all be reused, not start from scratch. That's a key feature of iOS, it takes finished stuff wholesale from the Mac, simplifies and mobilizes, and you get really sophisticated results on the device.
Kudos to Pogo for making great little styluses. They are very useful $14 devices just as they are. And iPad is great just with fingers, that is under-appreciated. Brushes already works as a great set of pastels, which don't require any pressure. But Wacom should do a $99 or possibly $129 device that really brings digital airbrush over onto iPad.
Holy crap what obsessively idiotic ideas are flying around. Trying to force a crippled crapgadget like iFad to do something it was specifically designed not to do (Jobs: "If you need a stylus, you're doing it wrong") is just plain stupid.