Wacom today announces Inkathon, a new challenge for software developers who believe in the power of digital ink and are interested in developing ink-based applications. Wacom’s Inkathon recently started and will be open for submissions until 6 November 2015. Adopting the well-known concept of hackathons, Wacom seeks new and fresh ideas for applications incorporating the use of digital ink. The winner will take home 20.000 US Dollars and full marketing support for the new application. The runner up will receive 10.000 US Dollars and third place will be rewarded 5.000 US Dollars. Finally, an audience favorite, selected by the number of votes for a particular app from voting public, will also receive 5.000 US Dollars.
Ideas shape the world. They must be captured, shared, refined, and transferred into a format that can be achieved without any technical restrictions. “At Wacom, we believe that creativity lives in all of us and the freedom of using your own hands for sketching ideas digitally should be available across all types of input devices”, Faik Karaoglu, Senior Vice President of Wacom’s Platforms and Apps Business Unit says. “We need the power of digital ink! It is flexible, collaborative, ubiquitous, and expressive. It is the best answer to the demands of creative thinkers in the 21st century.”
Inkathon is yet another way to contribute to the idea of a digital ink that gives you the perfect combination of the freedom to think creatively in the analog world plus the benefits you get from sharing, shaping and refining digitally. The missing link between the analog and digital world is Wacom’s universal ink technology, which developers will use in the competition.
WILL, the Wacom Ink Layer Language, enables all types of hard- and software to collaborate on the basis of handwritten or drawn notes and sketches, quickly and seamlessly using any input from a finger to a Wacom enabled pen. It provides cross-platform, high quality, universal ink. It enables new categories of applications, including advanced note-taking, document markup, and online collaboration with digital whiteboards. It also supports the idea of paperless workflows, adding a new level of security such as biometric identification for signature solutions.
The competition is open to individuals, 18 years old and over, or small organizations (up to 50 employees). Larger companies and organizations may also apply but will only compete for the non-cash Large Organization Recognition Award.
Developers can create new apps using the WILL SDK or update an existing app to add ink input using WILL. Eligible platforms are native smartphone or tablet apps (iOS or Android), web apps (mobile or desktop) and desktop apps (Windows PC).
All submissions must include a video showing the main functionality of the app plus additional images or screenshots of the working solution. All submission materials must be in English language or carry an English translation document. All finalist submissions will be required to be made available publicly before the winners are announced in January 2016.
To get started, applicants have to register on the Inkathon dedicated site at inkathon.devpost.com and request the WILL SDK from Wacom. Once registered, access to different SDK packages are specifically provided for each of the officially supported platforms: Android, iOS, WinRT and HTML5.
Judging Criteria for Prizes
The main focus of the jury will be the quality of the idea, with special interest on creativity and originality. Another aspect that will be taken into account is the implementation of the idea, reflecting on the way that the idea was executed by the developer and on the extent to which it utilizes the full feature set of the WILL SDK. Accessibility is yet another important criterion, particularly the accessibility on multiple platforms, bringing to life the basic idea of WILL. Finally, the potential impact of the app will be reviewed. This includes the extent to which the application could impact the life of the user, change daily use patterns, and increase the use of digital ink.
What is the WILL SDK?
WILL is a universal ink layer framework that links hardware and user interfaces. It provides the infrastructure for an intuitive and high quality digital pen and ink experience. The graphic features of the rendering engine create an unprecedented cross-platform ink experience.
- WILL is a digital ink framework that’s adaptive and flexible for integration.
- It enables high quality ink expression with graphically expressive tools and features and a high performance rendering engine.
- It has an innovative ink data format based Ink Stroke Language (SL)
- It provides a file format to enable data exchange with all WILL enabled applications
- WILL is designed to work with Wacom-enabled pens or any other input device, including touch input.