Adobe ventures into hardware with Mighty stylus and ruler

Adobe dreams up a bridge to the analogue world.

Adobe is experimenting with a new line of hardware: a slick set of tools that would give the pen, ruler and protractor a place on touchscreen devices.

The company has taken the wraps off project Mighty, a multi-functional stylus. Mighty carries a single button that lets artists select different colours and the drawing instruments, like a pencil, that are available on Creative Cloud.

The pressure-sensitive digital pen would function with an app that Adobe has yet to release, but has demoed on an iPad and iPhone to illustrate some of the cloud functions the stylus supports. The app distinguishes between the pen and a finger, with the latter used to erase unwanted lines. 

Since Mighty carries the identity of the user while digital assets tied to them are stored in the cloud, the pen can be used to invoke the user's assets and tools across multiple devices.

The stylus is only half the hardware picture though and has been designed for use with a short digital ruler, aptly codenamed Napoleon, which help artists draw shapes and straight lines.

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Adobe's Mighty and Napoleon. Image: Adobe.

The pen does not actually rest on the ruler as it would conventionally, but instead projects a controlled line on to the screen which is rendered by following its contours with the stylus. Napoleon can also produce arcs, triangles, or even act as a protractor.

Adobe says the project is just an "exploration in cloud-enabled hardware" at the moment, but it is putting its feelers out for interest from the public and has done a fair amount of groundwork to bring the devices to their current polished state.

In a promotional video, Michael Gough, Adobe's VP of product experience, claims to have been using the devices for the past year.