Adobe Shows off Its First Go at Hardware, The ‘Mighty’ Pen and ‘Napoleon’ Ruler

In addition to the Photoshop CC and Camera RAW announcements, the Adobe XD team also debuted something entirely different at the MAX conference: the company’s first shot at hardware. Coming in the form of a pressure-sensitive stylus and digital ruler, the two accessories are meant to take the creative brainstorming experience and shift it from pen-and-paper to pen-and-tablet.

In the video preview above, Adobe’s VP of Product Experience, Michael Gough, introduces the two products — code named “Mighty” and “Napoleon” — and walks you though the experience of using them.

The pen, or “Project Mighty,” was put together in collaboration with design firm Ammunition and engineering firm MindTribe. Working in concert with an iOS app, the Mighty pen allows you to do away with the sketchbook in favor of a more digital experience. Ergonomically designed and pressure sensitive, Adobe thinks this will be the best way for designers to get initial ideas down on ‘paper.’


Next is “Project Napoleon,” so named because it is a short ruler. Sort of an accessory to an accessory, the ruler makes it easy to draw perfectly straight lines by laying down a digital preview — any line that you draw with the pen while the ruler is on the tablet’s surface will automatically align with that preview.

The ruler also works for shapes other than lines. Just tap the shape you want — be it an arc, triangle or square — on the ruler’s surface, and the projection changes.


Both items connect up to iOS devices via a Bluetooth Low Energy connection, and any content you create in the specially designed app can be pulled out and shared with other devices over Creative Cloud so that you can easily switch between iPhone and iPad without disturbing your workflow.

The app will also be able to tell the difference between the stylus tip and your finger, allowing for certain functionality (e.g. erase and undo) to be built in via multi-touch gestures.


Keep in mind that neither Project Mighty nor Project Napoleon are “official” yet, in that the company hasn’t committed to producing them. Both are still in development with no release dates or pricing in sight. But seeing as Adobe has taken to showing them off, chances are good we’ll eventually see both the stylus and ruler on digital store shelves.

(via The Phoblographer)

  • Craig_McC

    That is awesome! I’ve been looking for a good, pressure sensitive pen for my iPad and that looks great along with the ruler. Hopefully Adobe will release these soonish.

  • 11

    look forward for it.. but latency hurts

  • Grbby

    And now again with his hand leaning on top of the tablet, the way normal people draw and write.

  • vivanteco

    I do hope they make this available for the Microsoft Surface

  • Sky

    wow… horrible lag!

  • fa

    and now adobe lost me completly!

  • Leif Sikorski

    Looks like it has a pretty huge delay and it has still one of those extremely huge tips.

  • Jack Hart

    This is pretty gimmicky. Well designed styluses and writing/drawing software are already abundant on the iPad. Plus it all comes down to lag – which is unbearable.

    The ruler doesn’t even make sense, just switch to a straight line tool or a curve tool. Are you honestly telling me you are going to stop and get that ruler out of your bag every time you need a straight line?

    Frankly this is mighty disappointing. It is a good start and this area definitely needs pushing and developing, but there is absolutely nothing new here. Move along people.

  • -

    Wanna impress someone, buy this.

    Wanna be creative, get a big piece of paper, rulers and different sharp pencils.

  • dannybuoy

    ugh. I bought a Wacom Bamboo pen for my ipad last week thinking it would be better than the cheap £6 one I already had. No. The lag was the same and actually the ipad missed more of my inputs. It is horrible drawing that that lag and the big squashy nib. I see this Adobe pen has a similar bouncy ball nib. Not buyin

  • anti CC


  • Nicholas Butler

    Shut up and take my money!

  • KLC

    But what’s really nice is that you won’t have to buy it. Just rent it for $19.99 a month…

  • Fran Añón

    Great idea, but why that lag??

  • Mick Orlosky

    An exciting technology I can’t wait to try someday. I have only one very minor complaint: Probably shouldn’t end a demo of tablet drawing by saying you’re “scratching the surface” :-)

  • MUTZ1

    fuk off adobe!!!

    stick your cloud crap and all your products where the sun don´t shine!!!

  • Ian Anderson

    Ironic they named it after a dictator

  • jnm

    In my opinion, you need as few layers of technology as possible between your mind and a material in order to achieve a direct relationship with the creative process. Pen and paper can not, need not, be replaced or upgraded. Too advanced tools distract from the original intent. Computers are good for making a developed idea more refined and exact, but they come in later in the workflow.

  • Gord

    Perhaps because it’s still a prototype/development model?

  • dannybuoy

    No that’s what pens on iPads are like. A horrible experience

  • Mick Orlosky


  • Daniel Thomassin

    Bonjour; j’avoue je rêve de posséder un tel outil mes d’abord il me fraudais la tablette !!
    Bonne journée à tous


  • Sky

    it’s like saying that only film photographers are creative.

  • Sky

    Response from Adobe when asked what’s the planned availability: “These projects represent explorations, not product announcements, so it is not for purchase at this time.”

  • Burnin Biomass

    How much is the monthly rent on those items gonna be?

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Ahem, “short ruler”.
    He even explained it.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    I think the best tool is the one that you have? Cocktail napkins are a little small these days. What’s wrong with jotting ideas down on a device that you are already carrying? Maybe you don’t carry your device around, but I know I do.

  • Bruce Baker

    Napoleon Bonaparte, Height 1.7m

    The average height of a male is roughly 1.72m

  • Olafs Osh

    We have a cheap brandy name as this over here. But even that wouldn’t swipe away the terrible lag.

  • Oskar???

    Is this going to be available on a subscription only?

  • Donji Yamada-Dessert

    It won’t. I wouldn’t trust any designer who owned a surface to make anything. Designers should be able to spot out terrible products.