Projects Mighty and Napoleon, the pen and the ruler. Two hardware products announced by Adobe this week at the Adobe MAX conference. Two hardware products that connect you to your device, your files, your work where ever you may be. Connected tools that explore our bond to the web beyond the smartphone and tablet. All of this ‘connectedness’ sealed up even tighter with their other announcement that future releases of the Adobe Creative Suite and other CS products will end to focus on the development of Creative Cloud and delivering the applications through the Creative Cloud subscription model. Adobe just moved all their chips onto that cloud, drawing the silver lining around it with… your identity.


Goodbye pen and paper?

Project Mighty is a stylus, but a stylus like no other. Teaming up with industrial design firm Ammunition and San Francisco-based MindTribe for the electrical and mechanical engineering, the new pen provides pressure-sensitive drawing that’s connected to the Creative Cloud to pull Kuler themes and your images down to your tablet through a twisted triangular frame. While the video shows it looking somewhat large with a slight lag, you can see how quick access to assets across all platforms through a simple device as ubiquitous as a pen makes sense. Sure, you’re tethered to the web with your tablet or computer, but your pen becomes the medium between all those apps… at least the Adobe apps.

Project Napoleon is the extension of Project Mighty, a ruler that works with the stylus to bring back the days of t-squares and straightedges, but with a digital kick. It creates digitally projected edges, arcs and other shapes on your digital canvas. If you’ve been frustrated with getting straight lines in a tablet drawing app, this is a magical device. Speaking of apps, the app shown in the video below is an unreleased version of Adobe Ideas, the vector-based sketching app. Your identity is stored with your stylus, paired with the tablet and automatically synced with the Creative Cloud.


Both of these devices have the potential to disrupt the standard workflow of jumping back and forth between tablet and paper. Just thinking of using a pen to transfer data instead of a scanner to bring in the data, which would then be traced over or refined, is a delightful reduction in the amount of work and stress of completing a project. It wasn’t too long after they launched Creative Cloud that we at EvD moved to it. We constantly wonder/ask when other mulit-product 3D software makers are going to move in the same direction. You see, there’s something truly “anywhere” about the Adobe Creative Cloud. I don’t have to be connected to the internet to use the products, yet I can download and update when I’m able. I don’t have to use all of them, yet I have access to any of them. I don’t have to store my files on a server farm, but I can upload them, view and share them if I like. They’re continually adding to the subscription as well–not increasing the cost, but increasing the value–adding tools, services and training. I’m continually impressed with Adobe’s foresight and though it’s odd to see them enter the hardware business at this point, it’s just the right hardware to serve the creative’s needs.

YouTube video

Adobe via The Verge


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.