by Caleb Goellner

Waxing Innovative with the Bamboo Stylus fineline at Yahoo Open Hack Day Japan 3

Six teams. Six Bamboo Stylus fineline innovations. One triumphant winner of the Wacom-sponsored Yahoo Open Hack Day Japan 3.

Yahoo Open Hack Day Japan 3 saw six teams of developers visit to Tokyo to participate in a 24-hour competition to generate and execute a creative new use for the Bamboo Stylus fineline iPad stylus. The event began on February 8th, with Wacom Technical Marketer Takeshi Shinmura presenting the fineline to each team and explaining its API (application programming interface). A month later on March 7th-8th, the teams reconvened from noon-to-noon to put their knowledge to work and create an app from scratch that made use of the fineline's capabilities as a bluetooth-powered pen with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.

They had 24 hours to produce their apps, but the hardest test came during the presentation, where they had just 90 seconds to pitch their spin on Wacom's portable product.

The results? A party app that introduced friends via a handwritten profile image, a fighting game with pen-powered spin attacks, an audio app dependent on pressure for pitches (such as musical instruments and animal calls), a handwritten font making app, an app for wedding parties and an app designed with cleaning ears in mind.

In the end, it was the team with the most excited name that took home the fineline prize as YAY impressed judges with their Mimikai Stylus system. Replacing the fineline's stylus nib with a cotton swab and pairing it with an app communicating a particular pressure rating, the Mimikai Stylus system lets users clean their ears without inserting their cotton swab too deeply or applying too much pressure. Judges were impressed with the creative application of the pen, which works well outside of its inherent handwriting and sketching capabilities.

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