Electronics

Wacom Bamboo Spark creates digital copies of written notes – no special paper required

Wacom Bamboo Spark creates dig...
Pressing a button to the left of the folio wirelessly transfers the notes or doodles on the paper to a companion app
Pressing a button to the left of the folio wirelessly transfers the notes or doodles on the paper to a companion app
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The Bamboo Spark works with regular A5 paper
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The Bamboo Spark works with regular A5 paper
Bamboo Spark utilizes a smart folio, which the paper is laid upon
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Bamboo Spark utilizes a smart folio, which the paper is laid upon
The Gadget Pocket model of the Bamboo Spark
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The Gadget Pocket model of the Bamboo Spark
The SnapFit for iPad Air2 model of the Bamboo Spark
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The SnapFit for iPad Air2 model of the Bamboo Spark
The Tablet Sleeve model of the Bamboo Spark
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The Tablet Sleeve model of the Bamboo Spark
The Bamboo Spark folio charges via USB
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The Bamboo Spark folio charges via USB
The Bamboo Spark ballpoint pen
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The Bamboo Spark ballpoint pen
The Spark pen does require Wacom ink, with a three pack of refills costing $9.99 and each lasting about 3 months in the hands of active note takers
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The Spark pen does require Wacom ink, with a three pack of refills costing $9.99 and each lasting about 3 months in the hands of active note takers
Pressing a button to the left of the folio wirelessly transfers the notes or doodles on the paper to a companion app
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Pressing a button to the left of the folio wirelessly transfers the notes or doodles on the paper to a companion app

If you want a smartpen – which digitizes your handwriting and transmits it to a computer or mobile device – you currently have your choice of models including the Neo Smartpen N2, the LiveScribe Sky or the Orée Stylograph. All of those pens, however, require you to use special paper that's unique to that particular product. By contrast, Wacom's just-announced Bamboo Spark system works with a non-electronic pen and whatever A5-sized paper you've got on hand.

The three earlier-mentioned smartpens all have tiny cameras located by the nib, that are able to gauge the pen's position on the page by imaging patterns printed on the paper.

Bamboo Spark instead utilizes a smart folio, which the paper is laid upon. That folio contains an electro-magnetic resonance board, which is able to sense the location of the tip of the included Bamboo Spark ballpoint pen. This allows it to record pen strokes (it doesn't matter if it's text or drawings), and their position relative to one another on the page.

Bamboo Spark utilizes a smart folio, which the paper is laid upon
Bamboo Spark utilizes a smart folio, which the paper is laid upon

Up to 100 pages of that data can be stored on the folio's onboard memory, then synced to an app on a paired iOS or Android mobile device when convenient. That app also lets users perform basic editing of their notes, although more options are available if the data is uploaded from the mobile device to a free Wacom Cloud account.

The folio is charged via USB, and is good for eight hours of use per charge.

Bamboo Spark is available in three models, all priced at US$159.95, €159.90 or £119.99. A pack of three ink refills for the pen costs $9.99.

Source: Wacom

4 comments
EddieG
What a pity Wacom limited the devices that can connect to the Spark.
Germano Pecoraro
A lack of these devices WACOM is that it must necessarily draw with (their) pen. When they decide to include a standard hexagonal pencil holder !? THe prises are a more expensives! I think 70-120 euros it be adeguate to employ
Bob Flint
So how does it recognize color? Why not a portable scanner? or simply snap a picture with your phone?
willemco
I think this is absolutely GREAT! No matter how nifty they make digital pens, if you can't use them on paper and have the 'feel' of writing they will never become my option. Have an S-Pen with my Note4 and have hardy used it because it produces AWFUL writing. Just wondering if this pen would produce a direct image in my phone or desktop screen... would I be able to make corrections 'as-I-go'? If it can this pen is MINE!