When Adobe announced earlier this week that it is moving to a subscription-only model for the next major update to its application suite in June, it also showed off a couple intriguing projects code named Mighty and Napoleon. Mighty is a stylus for the iPhone and iPad, and Napoleon is a digital ruler, and together they offer what could be a new way for artists and designers to use their iOS devices.
Both Mighty and Napoleon are currently concept projects that Adobe is excited about, and they show that the company is looking beyond its core products like Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver, towards products to help creative professionals do more with modern devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Mighty is a pressure sensitive stylus that interacts with your iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth that also ties in with the Creative Cloud apps. Instead of working like so many other styluses on the market, Mighty also stores user data such as drawing elements so they can be pulled out and added to projects on other devices. For example, you could draw a car on your iPad, copy it to your Mighty, and then drop it into a drawing on your iPhone.
The stylus is designed with a three-sided twisted body to make it more comfortable to hold. Designing a product so its comfortable in your hand often means making it right hand-specific, but that's not the case with Mighty.
"Mighty feels great for both right and left handed people," Adobe's David Macy told The Mac Observer. "The triangle twist makes it sit flat at the finger tips where the user holds it and also at the base of the thumb. And we think it is a really beautiful design."
Adobe's Mighty stylus & Napoleon digital ruler
Napoleon is designed to work with Mighty. When placed on your iPad screen, it lets you easily draw straight and parallel lines, as well as precise curves. Currently, both are prototypes and work only with Adobe's own apps, and for now the company doesn't have any plans to expand support beyond iOS to Android or Windows.
As far as supporting other apps, Mr. Macy said, "We would certainly like to see if third party apps are interested in supporting Mighty but we don't have a developer program yet."
For now, Adobe is showing off Mighty and Napoleon as concepts and doesn't have any information on when the products might ship or how much they'll cost. What they do show is that it's possible to look at the stylus as a peripheral for your iPad, and not just another pointing accessory -- and that holds a lot of potential.