Wacom showcases innovative digital ink concept at SXSW, taking hand-drawn images from paper to digital, and onto VR

In collaboration with WHITE Inc. creator of the “MilboxTouch” VR headset

Tokyo (Japan) — March 6, 2017— Wacom Co., Ltd. announced today that the company will be exhibiting an innovative concept model for digital ink at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive conference, held in Austin, Texas. Visitors to the Wacom booth will be able to experience their own hand-drawn digital ink images in a virtual reality (VR) environment. This is made possible through collaboration with WHITE Inc. and visualized through the company’s “MilboxTouch” VR headset.

To begin with, images drawn on paper, using Wacom’s Intuos Pro Paper Edition creative pen tablet, are converted into digital ink. The data is then projected in a 3D virtual world. The initiative is in line with the company’s efforts to push the boundary of digital ink in more creative and innovative ways.


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Visitors to the booth will be encouraged to draw their own images, which will be converted into digital ink and projected into a 3D world via WHITE Inc.’s portable VR headset for smartphones, the “MilboxTouch” — which will also be available for visitors at the booth.

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Visitors draw their own images        3D virtual world experienced via “MilboxTouch”

The ink content will be projected in the VR sphere or imaginary “planet” that visitors can view from various angles and perspectives. For example, the digital ink may appear like colored ribbons orbiting around the sphere, from an elevated or “aerial” perspective. The same ink may appear like colored contrails in the sky, if looking upward form the sphere’s surface. Allowing users to visualize and manage digital ink in a 3D VR sphere in this manner opens up new possibilities on how to enjoy and interpret digital ink as it plays out on a stage in an imaginary world.

While traditionally, VR painting has largely been made available through the use of an advanced system set-up, often requiring significant investment in equipment, Wacom and WHITE Inc.’s VR concept model explores a more accessible platform to consumers through the use of the MilboxTouch VR headset. Furthermore, the model is unique in allowing the use of a pen and paper.

Through Wacom’s pressure-sensitive technology, the intensity of pressure will determine how it is represented in a virtual 3D sphere, within the VR application. The amount of pressure will correlate with image’s depth and distance within the virtual 3D space.  Users will be able to move freely in a fully immersed VR environment, with full control to zoom in and out of the 3D image, experienced in a range of colors and from any variety of viewpoints.  

In addition to planning and organizing the demonstration, WHITE Inc. developed the application to visualize stroke data in the VR sphere, as well as a web-based system that allows visitors to view the original VR images they’ve created on a smartphone via the Google Chrome Browser, using a dedicated QR code provided at the booth. The original data input application was developed by the Kyoto-based start-up 110drive.

Wacom will continue to explore the limitless possibilities offered by digital ink technology. At Connected Ink Las Vegas, held in January 2017 to promote the Digital Stationery Consortium, Inc. (DSC), Wacom showcased a digital ink technology capable of presenting a visual display of a user’s emotional state from a handwritten script. Handwritten information using Wacom’s Bamboo Slate is converted into digital ink, while brainwave data analyzed using a separate headset is also embedded, which is then represented in a visual interpretation of the user’s emotions. The project was created in collaboration with the biosensor technology company NeuroSky.

Wacom will continue to partner with WHITE Inc. in future collaborations to explore new and innovative ways to utilize digital ink in a 3D virtual environment.


About Wacom        
Founded in 1983, Wacom is a global company based in Japan with subsidiaries and affiliate offices around the world to support marketing and distribution in over 150 countries and areas. It is the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays, and digital interface solutions. The advanced technology of Wacom’s intuitive input devices has been used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion and designs around the world and provides business and home users with their leading interface technology to express their personality. The company also offers its products as OEM solutions to leading manufacturers serving incremental markets. Wacom’s interface technology, called Wacom Feel IT technologies, is also offered as an integrated solution to strategic partners. Most tablet device and PC manufacturers count on the advanced features and reliability to deliver a superior user interface experience.

*Wacom, WILL, Feel are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Wacom Co., Ltd.
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Contact Information:
Corporate Communication, Wacom Co., Ltd.
Tel: +81-3-5337-6702      
Email: Wacom-pr(at)