Wacom is showing attendees of this week’s Seybold Seminars conference and trade show in Boston, Mass. its full line of input devices. The company makes pen and tablet products for the Mac and PC that are popular with many graphic designers and artists.
Mac OS X status update
Although the company isn’t making any new product announcements at this show, a company spokesman did bring MacCentral up to speed with Wacom’s efforts to support Apple’s new Mac OS X. Currently, none of its products work with the new operating system.
According to company representative Burt Holmes, Wacom is still on track to release a Mac OS X beta driver sometime in June. The company first confirmed efforts to support OS X
back in late March. They have a team of engineers working on what’s needed to get the tablets working with Mac OS X now.
It’s a sizeable feat. Mac OS X, which uses a fundamentally different system architecture than previous versions of the operating system, requires very different drivers to support input devices like Wacom’s products. And although Wacom has been working on OS X support since last summer, some of the necessary functionality to support the product is simply missing from this version of the operating system.
The good news, said Holmes, is that Wacom plans a fairly short beta test. The company hopes at this point to be able to provide finished OS X drivers for its tablets at this summer’s Macworld Expo event in New York City. Wacom plans to release drivers for USB-based versions of the Intuos, Graphire, PenPartner and PL products.
Wacom to offer Eye-One for color calibration
Wacom’s big news at Seybold is its strategic alliance with GretagMacbeth, which
introduced a color management product earlier this week
called the Eye-One. Wacom is showing the Eye-One in use with its own PL500 tablet, which combines a pressure-sensitive pen with a 15-inch, 24-bit color LCD flat panel display. The ability to draw directly on the display is more intuitive for visual artists, Wacom says — but up until now trying to get accurate color calibration has been an expensive endeavor, often costing as much as the PL500 itself (which retails for about US$4,000).
The Eye-One is a spectrophotometer that costs about $600. It can read all types of monitors, including flat panel displays, said Holmes, and works great with the PL500. Using the Eye-One, you can get the exact measurement of a screen color, calibrate the PL500, and create a color palette to help assure accurate color reproduction.
Wacom doesn’t plan any special bundle deals combining the PL500 and the Eye-One together, but will be selling it on its Web site to users who want to be able to calibrate their PL500s.