Last May WACOM, Samsung, Wacom, Fujitsu and Montblanc started a new organization called the Digital Stationery Consortium and it will create a universal digital ink framework for sharing handwritten notes, drawings and sketches between users, regardless of platform. E-Ink has just confirmed with Good e-Reader they have just joined the consortium and talked about what the future of digital reading and writing will look like in the next few years.
Wacom Ink Layer Language has been developed that will turn every digital pen technology—stylus, smart pen, smartpad—into a data format can then be adapted, edited, or shared in any other hardware operating system or application. Using algorithms, WILL’s digital ink technology transforms pressure, speed, and orientation information into a visual representation of digital ink technology. WILL contains tools for manipulating, storing, and producing digital ink technology—all from raw pen sensor data.-
Here are some of the key features of WILL
- Ability to turn handwritten signatures into biometric electronic signatures to sign important documents or use dynamic signature verification to verify the person’s identity for an authentication process, such as approving a purchase order. Stored metadata, such as location or identification of the author, lets you easily track time and order of changes, identify who did the changes, add, erase, and insert hand-written comments in documents—in a way that has not previously been possible.
- High-performance writing and sketching tools are based on raster rendering to provide greater flexibility regarding expressiveness, while the writing tools use vector rendering that’s optimized for writing. Natural and fast rendering of ink creates the most natural writing experience, with a direct response on screen. Visually aesthetic natural stroke dynamics further enhance the experience.
- Support for a variety of input technologies generates the best possible ink through the use of dedicated modules. Path and smoothing modules take into account the specific characteristics of input pen data. The Rasterizer module then provides advanced real-time stroke rendering. The Manipulation module supports editing functions that leverage the WILL stroke mathematical model. The Serialization module encodes and decodes stroke data.
- The WILL SDK is initially shared with members of the corsiturm.
Work is currently underway within the DSC Work Groups to explore how AI can improve digital-ink-based note-taking and real-time collaboration, as well as how VR can enhance digital-ink-based creativity in 3D environments. And, to build momentum for digital ink adoption, the DSC is building a community of developers that can be accessed by DSC members to support go-to-market efforts for new products or to validate new concepts.
I think this working group is onto something. Being able to collaborate with drawing in VR/AR is the future. Being able to utilize any kind of digital pen or stylus to draw is a plus, since once 3rd party vendors get into the fray, the prices will come down for all the accessories. I think it just comes down to developers having the will to do write a VR program that uses this SDK, but sadly it will be awhile because the SDK is just being distributed among members and it costs lots of money.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.