Wacom Co., Ltd.
Native name
株式会社ワコム
Kabushiki gaisha Wakomu
Company typePublic (Kabushiki gaisha)
TYO: 6727
IndustryComputer input devices and software
FoundedJuly 12, 1983; 40 years ago (1983-07-12) in Ageo, Saitama, Japan
Headquarters,
Japan
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Nobutaka (Nobu) Ide
(President & CEO)[1]
ProductsBamboo, Intuos, Cintiq, MobileStudio Pro, PenPartner, Volito, Graphire
RevenueIncrease ¥109 billion (2022)
Decrease ¥13 billion (2022)
Increase ¥11 billion (2022)
Total assetsIncrease ¥73 billion (2022)
Number of employees
1,069 (2022)
Websitewacom.com
Footnotes / references
[2]

Wacom Co., Ltd. (株式会社ワコム, Kabushiki gaisha Wakomu, /ˈwɑːkəm/) is a Japanese company headquartered in Kazo, Saitama, Japan, that specializes in manufacturing graphics tablets and related products.[3] As of 2012 Wacom generated sales of approximately 40.7 billion yen with 785 employees.[4] The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

History

The company was founded in 1983.[5] The name Wacom came from an abbreviated variation of World Computer (ワールドコンピュータ, wārudo konpyūtā), with the syllable "wa" (Japanese for harmony).[4]

Wacom was the first company to make pens without a cord, which it introduced in 1991;[6][7] it released its first pen display the following year.[8] Its products were initially targeted at professional artists, but by the late 1990s it aimed to expand to home users as well.[9]

In 2001, the company partnered with Sony to introduce a Vaio laptop with built-in touch functionality.[10]

Products

Wacom produces two categories of graphics tablets: those with a screen ('pen display') and those without ('tablet').[11] In addition, the company provides software for computers and software to interpret pen data.[7] Some pens have an eraser on the rear end.[12]

Cintiq

Wacom's professional pen displays are under the Cintiq line[13] which allow for drawing directly on the screen like drawing on paper,[14][15] which are more expensive than other Wacom products.[16] The Cintiq Companion is a portable variant of the Cintiq displays.[16]

Intuos

Intuos graphics tablets do not have displays.[17] The first version was introduced in 1999, replacing the earlier ArtZ line.[18] It is available in an entry-level version and the more advanced Intuos Pro.[19] In 2018, The Verge called the entry-level models a "great introduction to digital art."[20]

One

The One series of products is targeted at beginners, and features versions both with and without screens.[21][11] The One tablet, released at CES 2020, has a 13-inch, 1920x1080 display. The Verge labeled it as Wacom's "most affordable tablet to date," being priced at $400.[22]

Other products

Wacom also makes the MobileStudio, a pen display with an inbuilt computer.[17]

They have also made other lines of graphics tablets, such as the Bamboo and Graphire, which were both screenless.[14][23] In 2011, the company released a tablet-less pen, which allowed for drawing on any piece of paper, but was criticized for being inaccurate compared to a normal photo scan.[24][25] In 2018, they partnered with Magic Leap to create collaborative mixed reality design tools at CES.[26]

Technology

The tablets use electromagnetic resonance (EMR) technology, a type of faint radio signal.[27][28][29] Magnetic waves are emitted from the tablet, which are then transmitted to the pen and stored. When the pen is released, the waves are set back to the tablet, which uses it to determine the pen's position;[10][30] this avoids the usage of separate batteries in the pen.[12] The pen also contains a movable tip, which allows determining the pressure applied to the tablet.[29][31]

Criticism

Wacom has been criticized for their high cost of professional displays.[32][improper synthesis?] The company has also received criticism for collection of user data,[33] which Wacom says is "for quality assurance and development purposes," where the data is anonymized.[34]

In early 2024, the company was criticised by artists for using AI-generated images in its advertising material.[35] The company replied in a post on their blogs on January 9, stating that "using AI-Generated images in these assets was not" their intent.[36]

References

  1. ^ "Nobutaka (Nobu) Ide Assumes the Role of Representative Director, President and CEO, Wacom Co., Ltd". Wacom. Tokyo, Japan. April 2, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Wacom. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  3. ^ "Wacom Investor Relations:Frequently asked questions". Wacom.com. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Wacom | - Investor Relations - FAQs -". May 1, 2011. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2023.
  5. ^ "India's 10 Most Influential Tech Leaders to Follow in 2022". Tycoon Success. December 2021. pp. 16–17. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  6. ^ Yares, Evan (May 25, 1993). "Wacom SD-421E". PCMag. Vol. 12, no. 10. p. 294.
  7. ^ a b Gebolys, Debbie (October 5, 1994). "Graphics tablet gets smaller". The Columbian. p. 9.
  8. ^ Pogue, David (May 2, 2012). "The Joy of Drawing on Glass". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  9. ^ Brown, Craig (December 7, 1997). "Pen strokes of genius". The Columbian. pp. 51–52.
  10. ^ a b Rogoway, Mike (August 2, 2001). "Wacom pens a licensing deal with Sony". The Columbian. p. 33.
  11. ^ a b Nicholls, Beth (August 15, 2023). "The new Wacom One budget range continues an annoying tech trend". Creative Bloq. Retrieved March 23, 2024.
  12. ^ a b Mathews, Craig F. (2004). Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tablet PCs. Indianapolis, Ind.: Que. pp. 12, 66. ISBN 0-7686-6191-9. OCLC 57706162.
  13. ^ Lee, Dami (January 8, 2019). "Wacom's $649 Cintiq 16 bridges the gap between hobbyists and pro creatives". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  14. ^ a b Sholin, Marilyn (2009). The Art of Digital Photo Painting: Using Popular Software to Create Masterpieces (1st ed.). New York: Lark Books. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-1-60059-101-3. OCLC 213301758.
  15. ^ Sammon, Rick (2007). Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography 2.0. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-393-32914-8. OCLC 71312817.
  16. ^ a b Streed, Michael W. (2017). Creating digital faces for law enforcement. London: Academic Press. pp. 129–153. ISBN 978-0-12-805279-2. OCLC 971035475.
  17. ^ a b Stapley, Jon (November 23, 2022). "The best Wacom tablets available". Creative Bloq.
  18. ^ Ireton, Trevor (August 3, 1999). "Artist's tools draw on wellspring of tradition". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia. p. 56.
  19. ^ Aldred, John (September 7, 2018). "DIYP reviews the Wacom Intuos - The ultimate editing travel companion for photographers". DIY Photography. Retrieved March 24, 2024.
  20. ^ Lee, Dami (March 6, 2018). "Wacom's new Intuos tablets are perfect for the beginner doodler". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  21. ^ Harris, Mike (December 12, 2023). "One by Wacom review". digitalcameraworld.
  22. ^ Lee, Dami (January 7, 2020). "Wacom's $400 tablet is its most affordable yet, and adds Android compatibility". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  23. ^ Milburn, Ken (2004). Digital Photography: Expert Techniques (1st ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O'Reilly. p. 22. ISBN 0-596-00547-4. OCLC 54983155.
  24. ^ Houston, Thomas (August 30, 2011). "Wacom Inkling system converts your ink drawings to digital scribbles". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  25. ^ Schulman, Jacob (November 28, 2011). "Wacom Inkling review". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  26. ^ Lee, Dami (January 17, 2019). "Wacom and Magic Leap are creating an optimistic vision of the future of productivity". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  27. ^ Austen, Ian (August 23, 2001). "NEWS WATCH: PERIPHERALS; For Artists and Photographers, Pen Is Mightier Than the Mouse". The New York Times. p. G3. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  28. ^ Pollack, Andrew (March 17, 1991). "Technology; Positioning the Electronic Stylus". The New York Times. Section 3 p. 9. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  29. ^ a b Lewis, Peter H. (April 23, 1991). "PERSONAL COMPUTERS; Next Best to a Brush". The New York Times. p. C10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  30. ^ "EMR™ Pen Technology" (PDF). Wacom.
  31. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (July 25, 1995). "PERSONAL COMPUTERS; Electronic Pen With Its Own Eraser". The New York Times. pp. C8. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  32. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (September 28, 2022). "The Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 introduces slim bezels and a customizable pen". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  33. ^ Lee, Dami (February 6, 2020). "Wacom tablets are sharing your app usage with Google Analytics". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  34. ^ Lee, Dami (February 7, 2020). "Wacom says it's not spying on its customers, and users can opt out of data collection". The Verge. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  35. ^ https://boingboing.net/2024/01/10/artists-upset-after-wacom-uses-ai-art-to-market-artist-gear.html
  36. ^ "A Response to Community Questions Concerning Wacom Using AI-generated Art in US Marketing Assets - Wacom Blog". January 9, 2024.