Wacom Unveils Strategy To Launch Digital Stationery Consortium

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Connected Ink Event To Include Samsung, Montblanc, E Ink and Wacom

BERLIN — Sept. 5, 2016 Wacom announced today its strategic plan to establish theDigital Stationery Consortium in October 2016. The objective of consortium is to establish digital ink as universal, open and smart content format by promoting and managing digital ink formats based on the Wacom Ink Layer Language (WILL™). WILL’s digital ink technology ensures cross-compatibility of ink data, allowing businesses and consumers to freely communicate and collaborate across digital devices, operating systems, hardware platforms and cloud services. WILL is a universal inking engine and ink layer frameworkthat connects hardware, software and applications.
“Unifying various digital stationery solutions under the WILL framework will reduce complexity and produce a richer user experience by creating a seamless digital ink experience across every mobile device and ecosystem,” said Masahiko Yamada, President & CEO of Wacom. “We received very positive feedback about launching this consortium while conducting our initial industry outreach at Connected Ink events in Las Vegas and Shanghai recently.”

Thought Leadership Event at Connected Ink, Berlin 
Hosted by Wacom, the Connected Ink event in Berlin, Germany, on September 3, 2016, will gather leading industry advocates to present on recent developments in the digital ink and pen ecosystem. Connected Ink is the platform for industry leaders in hardware, software, cloud telecommunication and stationery to push ideas, technologies and mass market adaption around digital ink and pen.

Companies presenting and/or participating in the product showcase include: Samsung Electronics, Montblanc, Simplo GmbH and E Ink Corporation, as well as CenterDevice GmbH, Moka Studio and WeKast. Below is the list of presentations:

• “Samsung’s Strategic Vision for Digital Handwriting.” Keynote address by Peter Koo, senior vice president and head of technology strategy, Samsung
• “The Beauty of Handwriting in a Digital Space.” Felix Obschonka, associate director for new technologies, Montblanc
• “Novel Note-Taking Experience. Paper-like eNote.” Jim Chang, senior director, Strategic Integration Center, E Ink
• “Vision of the Creative World.” Masahiko Yamada, president and CEO, Wacom
• “WILL: Universal Ink for the 21st Century.” Heidi Wang, vice president, Portfolio Management and Technology Marketing, Wacom
• “Universal Pen Experience.” Nobu Ide, senior vice president, Technology Solutions, Wacom

Product Showcase includes:
• CenterDevice will provide a B2B eSignature technology.
• Moka Studio will demonstrate its “MoSketch” app
• WeKast will demonstrate a real-time collaboration leveraging the WILL digital ink technology.

A panel discussion exploring the future of digital ink is also planned and will include executives from Samsung, E Ink, CenterDevice and Wacom.

Wacom Introduces Most Full-Featured and Flexible Signature Pads with the STU-540

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stu540

September 13, 2016 Tokyo, Japan – Wacom Co., Ltd. today announced the addition of the STU-540, its most advanced and robust signature pad, to its industry leading family of signature capture devices. Combining the broadest range of connectivity options, user conveniences and top-level encryption, the STU-540 is the premier choice for organizations looking to implement handwritten electronic signature into their workflow.
Wacom’s newest signature pad expands support for signature capture in a variety of environments. In desktop environments, it utilizes standard USB. For virtualized desktop configurations, there are several options – giving users a range of choices to best fit their requirements. The STU-540 is natively supported in Citrix v7.6.3 and newer. For Citrix v6.5 and other virtualized desktop environments, the new model can be set up to emulate a serial connection over USB. In addition, the STU-540 offers the option, via a separate accessory kit, to add a physical serial connector instead of USB.

Wacom also increased the utility and ease of use of these signature pads by incorporating frequently needed features and functions directly into the STU-540. The color screen can be utilized for a variety of uses beyond just signature capture without the user needing to create and implement their own applications. Instead, these built-in functions can be accessed by a simple utility. When not in signing mode, the color screen on the signature pads can display high-quality images for advertising and marketing without a separate application continuously running in the background. Instead, the images run directly from the signature pad. Additionally, a customizable keypad feature lets an administrator set up configurable on-screen keypads or soft keys that can be used to collect a myriad of different types of information to support different workflows.

The STU-540 continues Wacom’s tradition of providing strong encryption to protect signature data transmitted between the signature pad and workstation or terminal. The STU-540 features proven and secure AES256 / RSA2048 encryption.

“With the launch of the STU-540 signature pad, Wacom brings our customers state-of-the-art features to support their integration of handwritten electronic signature into their workflow as part of their move toward paperless processes. We offer industry-leading encryption options for our signature pads to meet our customers’ high expectations for a secure eSignature process. The available connectivity options ensure users in different environments are able to deploy these pads, and if their needs change the STU-540 can adapt with them,” said Shigeki Komiyama, Executive Vice President of Wacom Co., Ltd. “Beyond that, we have introduced innovative features that allow our customers to expand how they use this product in their business.”

The STU-540 features a 5-inch, high-resolution color LCD displays with an anti-glare surface that provides an enhanced viewing experience in all lighting conditions and also provides better tactile feedback while signing. It also incorporates Wacom’s digital inking technology – WILL (Wacom Ink Layer Language) – to produce an on-screen signature that looks clean, crisp and visually replicates pen on paper signatures.

Wacom’s patented cordless and battery-free pen technology provides users with the best signing experience. It also delivers an industry-leading 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity capable of capturing a signer’s pressure profile as part of the unique biometric profile during the signing process. Each unit also has a unique hardware ID that can be used to determine the exact unit that was used for a particular signature.

The STU-540  joins the STU-300B, STU-430, STU-430V and STU-530 in Wacom’s portfolio of signature pads. The entire family is supported natively in Citrix v7.6.3 and later. In addition, the STU-540 and STU-430V support older versions of Citrix as well as other terminal server environments.

Wacom’s Signature SDK (Software Development Kit) and STU SDK are available to integrate support for Wacom’s signature devices into native applications.

Availability and Pricing
For pricing and availability information on the STU-540, please contact your local sales representative.

Adobe upgrades Photoshop, Premiere Pro, adds stunning Fuse CC 3D character-creation tool

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Adobe is certainly living up to its side of the implied bargain with Creative Cloud subscribers that it would continue to add value to its tools on a regular basis. Once again this year, Adobe has not only updated its Creative Cloud applications with some cool new features, but added an amazing new application — Adobe Fuse CC. We’ll give you a round up of the most significant new features, with a focus on Photoshop and Fuse.

Adobe Photoshop Update November 2015

While not as dramatic as the Photoshop update earlier this year, the new version does bring one major user interface improvement — fully customizable tool palettes. I suspect no one uses all the tools in the palette, but everyone has to hunt through the complete set of them to pick out the ones they want. Now you can easily drag and drop the tools you use most into fly-out sets of your own creation, or simply hide the ones that get in the way. The customization dialog even provides real time preview of your changes which, while hardly necessary, is pretty cool. As with almost everything you customize in Photoshop, you can save multiple different tool palette layouts for different purposes.

Toolbar customization is a great new feature for Photoshop power users

Toolbar customization is a great new feature for Photoshop power users

Workspaces can also be customized now. The new Design Space capability places an HTML5-based layer over the Photoshop engine, for easy design of artboards — especially useful for faster creation of layouts usable on mobile devices. SVG-format files can also now be used directly in Photoshop. The UI has also been cleaned up a bit, with improved support for touch — including an option to display larger tabs and a soft keyboard for modifier keys, as well as additional touch gesture support. These new capabilities will be especially useful for users of Microsoft Surface tablets.

For those preparing a lot of images for the Web, or for clients, the Export As… command continues to get faster and more feature rich. Adobe intends it to completely eliminate the need for the Save for Web… command over time, although the old version is still there for now.

For graphic artists and designers, many of the same usability improvements are echoed in updated versions of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. In addition InDesign now features (in Preview) a tool for instantly converting print layout documents to an online format. There is also an interesting new tool, Adobe Portfolio (in Preview), that allows photographers to quickly create websites for themselves.

Adobe Fuse CC: Awesome Character Generator

It has been a long time since I’ve reviewed a product as fun to use as Adobe’s Fuse CC. You can create fairly-lifelike 3D characters from scratch with almost no work. You can pick different looks for different parts of the body, the hair, and clothes simply by pointing and clicking. That’s not incredibly novel, but the simplicity of customizing just about every aspect of your character by selecting it and then changing properties (often through direct manipulation) lets you create just about any person you can imagine without knowing much about either anatomy or drawing.

3D Character animated in Photoshop showing skeletal movements and fully rendered image

Tight Photoshop integration

Previously, animating characters required either the use of an online service (like Mixamo, which was acquired by Adobe) or a separate application. Now, Photoshop users can make direct use of the characters created in Fuse. Simply save them to your Adobe Library from Fuse, and then drag them into a Photoshop document. The character appears as a new layer, along with the rest of your content. The best part is that Adobe has taken all the very cool animations from Mixamo and put them into Photoshop itself, so you can have a guitar-playing rock star, or kick-boxing action hero, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Like any 3D object in Photoshop, your character can be moved around in a variety of ways, for tight integration into your overall design. Photoshop’s lighting tools are also available for you to customize the final look of your scene, along with the ability to move the virtual camera around. Now, I’m definitely not a 3D designer, or animator, so I can’t claim to compare this solution with others already on the market. But as a heavy-duty Photoshop user, I know that if I needed to incorporate a 3D character into one of my projects, this would be by far the easiest (and most fun) way to do it. I created this simple character, animated it, and placed it on a background photo in just a few minutes:

Video-handling updates throughout the Creative Cloud suite

Users of Adobe’s increasing number of other tools shouldn’t feel left out. There are lots of goodies across the board, with a particular emphasis on capabilities for UX designers and those who edit video. For example, Adobe Stock now has over a million HD video clips in addition to still images and graphics. It also features tighter integration with Adobe’s Library feature for a more-streamlined workflow.

As promised, Premiere Pro now has additional support for Ultra HD and HDR video, and has been optimized for use with touch-enabled devices. It has also added an Optical Flow Time Remapper that allows smoother fast-and-slow motion special effects and frame rate conversions.

Adobe clearly wants every creative's workflow to revolve around an essential core of Adobe cloud services anchored by its Creative SuiteAdobe’s mobile video editing app, Premiere Clip, has also been updated to version 2.0, and made available on Android. It lets you not only edit traditional video clips, but quickly make a “Ken-Burns-style” slideshow — complete with automatically-selected or your own music — from your images. I was able to select a folder of my Lightroom Mobile images, arrange them, set them to music, and produce a video slideshow — like this one I made from some images from a trip to Myanmar — in just a few minutes.

More still to come

Adobe still has more to come from the list of features it promised at MAX — some later this year, and some next year. One of the coolest new tools — Project Comet — is still in the “teaser” stage, but it promises to be a very powerful UX design system when it comes out in 2016. In the meantime, there is something for everyone in this update for Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of tools. The updated versions are available for download to Creative Cloud subscribers through the App Update feature in Adobe’s Creative Cloud application.

Source: extremetech.com