Rant: Wacom needs better PR

WacomBambooTouchBBsmallCheck that: Wacom needs PR. Period. I don’t use this word very often, in fact this may be my first time, but I am flummoxed, absolutely flummoxed, by our complete lack of information on the new Wacom multi-touch products. And I don’t just mean us here at GBM. I mean, as far as I can tell, any blog or news source that covers tech.

Before this month, I hadn’t read anything on Wacom’s multi-touch technology since January. Now, it’s in everything from review unit PCs to products on the shelf at Best Buy, as shown here in a photo I took today at Best Buy (click through to the geotagged photo if you don’t believe me), yet there still appears to be no info from Wacom about them.

If it was just me who didn’t know it, that’d be one thing. I don’t have all the fancy connections. But even Engadget didn’t know about the Bamboo Touch until they got a tip from someone, probably a guy who was putting it on the shelf at Best Buy. Which leads me to ask: Where’s Wacom’s PR department in all this? How does a multi-national company release a new product, let alone enter a new technology field, without telling anyone?

Seriously, I’m looking at the Wacom U.S. press page now. Nothing about any of this. Product page doesn’t list the Bamboo Touch. We’re reviewing the Lenovo X20o Tablet PC. Lenovo’s saying they’re using the N-Trig digitizer, but commenter Grimulkan has this link to the Lenovo website listing Wacom “two fingure” drivers for the X200. He also points out that the previous report of 15 levels of pressure sensitivity for pen input has since been corrected to 256, which should ease some minds. In fairness, the T400s is listed as using N-Trig drivers, so our info isn’t completely off-base, but there seems to be a huge data hole where Wacom is concerned, resulting in misinformation. Even the corrections we’re getting are coming indirectly through third parties. Why hasn’t Wacom reached out to anyone on this?

I admit, I could have tried to contact Wacom earlier to get straight answers, but it seems more than reasonable to assume a multi-national company releasing new products and technology would have mentioned something at some point. I read about new products every day well before their release, including stuff that isn’t coming directly to the States. How could I or anyone in the field have guessed Wacom would skip any publicity of their new products, even after they hit shelves? It defies logic.

Wacom, I love your technology. I’ve been looking forward to your multi-touch digitizer. If I hadn’t already just bought a Wacom tablet (and gotten so reliant on its wireless Bluetooth freedom), I would have bought that Bamboo Touch today. But I cannot understand what happened with the PR on your multi-touch products, or complete lack thereof. Flummoxed.

7 Comments

  1. Ben

    09/18/2009 at 7:09 pm

    true. for the longest time i was worried that wacom might not even produce a multi-touch digitizer in time for windows 7.

    Reply

  2. Simon

    09/18/2009 at 11:22 pm

    About that X200 / T400s confusion, N-trig has a press release (http://www.n-trig.com/Content.aspx?Page=PressReleases&PressReleaseId=566) saying that the multi-touch t400s has a duosense digitizer (5th paragraph). I wonder if you could use, say, the HP tx2 pen on the T400s ?

    Reply

  3. Piet

    09/19/2009 at 2:21 am

    And they have all the technology needed for some great products.
    http://www.wacom.com/touch/index.cfm

    Reply

  4. Sumocat

    09/19/2009 at 7:59 am

    Simon: Thanks for that. Nice to see N-Trig’s PR folks laying claim to the t400s. Pretty clear they aren’t supplying the X200 digitizer.

    Piet: Thought you found the missing info for a moment, but it’s still the same stuff from earlier in the year. The page showing integrated products was last updated in March. The mystery of their lost PR dept only deepens.

    Reply

  5. Peninsider

    09/21/2009 at 4:22 am

    Generally-speaking, N-trig = “4-finger” and Wacom = “2-finger” on tablets and notebooks for the Win7-timed round of launches. (NextWindow of course is still limited to the desktops.) Nuff said…

    Reply

  6. Mac wilson

    09/21/2009 at 11:48 am

    Wacom maybe playing it close tot he vest because it doesn’t want to screw up like n-trig has.

    After all bad drives are the bane of the hardware world.
    Best to wait for a reliable product instead of rush things hoping that no one will notice ; which of course is a distortion

    Reply

  7. WaterCloset

    09/27/2009 at 5:43 pm

    I hope N-trig or Adobe will solve their issues with pressure sensitivity so it can work in Photoshop. I know a lot of artists who bought an N-trig tabletpc wish for this to happen.

    Also, does the new wacom multi-touch digitizer pressure sensitivity work in photoshop?

    Reply

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