Fresh off of its head-turning shift to the Creative Cloud, Adobe has announced that it is diving into hardware with its own smart stylus and smart ruler — codenamed ‘Mighty’ and ‘Napoleon,’ respectively.
As detailed during the company’s MAX conference this week, both peripherals aren’t going to be available on the market anytime soon, but they are two ways for Adobe to demonstrate how smart hardware can function with its new cloud initiative.
First, Adobe says that the three-sided Mighty pen was built with the help of Ammunition, a design firm that’s also behind the looks of various Beats headphones and Nook tablets, among others. It’s a pressure-sensitive stylus that comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a rechargeable battery, on-board memory, and a small LED light.
Perhaps most interestingly, though, Mighty is able to store a user’s personal preferences and settings from the Creative Cloud, making them usable across different devices. A button located on the side of the pen brings up a radial menu of tools that are synced with the cloud, which then lets users access things like a Kuler color palette or a clipboard of saved sketches across their tablet and smartphone.
A video demonstration of the pen shows it working on an iPad and iPhone through a modified Adobe Ideas app, though it’s still too early to say which devices will be compatible with Mighty should it become commercially available.
Adobe is pitching Napoleon as a companion device for Mighty. It lets users draw straight lines more accurately, of course, but also provides what are essentially the digital versions of usual drawing aids. The tiny ruler (hence the name “Napoleon”) displays a digital line that can be modified to other shapes like arcs, for instance, and can also snap one’s drawings to different vanishing points onscreen.
Adobe says that it has “many explorations going on” with regards to “new form factor displays, new interactions (like touch and gesture), cloud connections and even new hardware,” so it’s possible that Mighty and Napoleon won’t be the only cloud-connected hardware to come out the company. There may be many Creative Suite users distressed over Adobe’s move to the cloud, but for now it appears as if the company is committed to its new strategy on all fronts.