How the Beautiful Wacom Cintiq Touch Pen Display Was Born

Hey, I’m Chris. I wrote this article and I’m also the founder and Editor of DailyTekk. Lets connect on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Check back daily!


As a designer by trade, I’ve always been fascinated with the convergence of paper and pixels. No other piece of technology in the world comes closer to merging paper and pixels as the Wacom Cintiq touch Pen Display. In the past, I’ve used many Wacom products from the lower-end Bamboo Stylus to the mid-range Intuos, but nothing makes me drool more than the Cintiq series of pen displays. Here to explain how this phenomenal top-of-the-line design tool was born is Scott Rawlings, Wacom’s VP of Marketing for the America’s region. Take it away Scott!

In the early days of Wacom, an engineer created a black and white pen display with a rudimentary monochromatic LCD panel. The early application was for improving input for intelligent systems that benefited from direct interaction. While I was on a trip to Japan headquarters, this product was demonstrated to me. At that time, I was hired to envision product roadmaps for Wacom and this product really energized me with what could be possible given the trajectory of LCD panels quickly evolving to replace CRTs (this was in the late 1990’s). I was also working closely with Bill Buxton at the time, who was a chief scientist at Alias|Wavefront, on two-handed input methodologies (Bill is now heading up research at Microsoft). Although the idea of combining touch came a little later, we envisioned how artists use two hands and how important this could be for bridging analog and digital with direct hand-eye coordination.

Our first product, the Cintiq 18SX, was fairly thick and rudimentary by today’s standards. However, we worked closely with a great team of industrial designers at Ziba to make some real break-throughs, which we’re still refining to this day. Even the original stand was made to allow for rotation of the display like an animator’s light table while allowing the user to remove the display to use it on the lap of flat on the desk. Eventually, these larger displays will get really thin and light and be made with carbon fiber or other strong and lightweight materials — we will continually get closer and closer to the ideal fusion of analog and digital worlds for visual arts, design, and engineering applications. Tangible and direct interaction along with two handed input allow for tremendous innovation in the way visual people desire to work.

The recent release of our Cintiq 24HD made a real ...

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