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Wacom Co., Ltd.
Native name
Kabushiki gaisha Wakomu
TypePublic (Kabushiki gaisha)
TYO: 6727
IndustryComputer input devices and software
FoundedJuly 12, 1983; 39 years ago (1983-07-12) in Ageo, Saitama, Japan
Area served
Key people
Nobutaka (Nobu) Ide
(President & CEO)[1]
ProductsBamboo, Intuos, Cintiq, MobileStudio Pro, PenPartner, Volito, Graphire
RevenueIncrease ¥74.557 billion (2015)[2]
Increase ¥14.400 billion (2015)[2]
Increase ¥9.800 billion (2015)[2]
Total assetsIncrease ¥51.457 billion (2015)[2]
Number of employees
Consolidated: 1,072
Non-consolidated: 474
WebsiteOfficial website

Wacom Co., Ltd. (株式会社ワコム, Kabushiki gaisha Wakomu) (/ˈwɑːkəm/) is a Japanese company headquartered in Kazo, Saitama, Japan, that specializes in graphics tablets and related products. The meaning of the company name, "Wacom", was derived by changing the English name WORLD COMPUTER with "WA," which means "harmony" in Japanese. The name was created to express the goal of attaining harmony between people and computers.[3]

Headquarters locations[edit]

Aside from the main headquarters in Kazo, Saitama, Japan, the American headquarters are located in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. The European headquarters is located in the Media Harbour in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Both the European and American HQ's have public showrooms and creative spaces called "Wacom Experience Center" DUS and PDX (respective to the cities they are located in). Click here for more info on either the Wacom Experience DUS or Wacom Experience PDX [4]


Wacom tablet functionality was used in the screen of the Compaq Concerto computer in 1992, making it an early tablet computer. In 1991, Wacom chips were used in the Samsung Penmaster tablet computer which was also sold as the GridPad SL by Grid Systems. The Penmaster had an early precursor to Samsung's S Pen, known today for its inclusion in the Galaxy Note line of phones, which also use Wacom's technology to power the S Pen, since its conception with the Galaxy Note line of phones in 2011.[5]

Product lines[edit]


Wacom Intuos pen & touch M (CTH-680) graphics tablet

2018 models feature 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a resolution of 2540 lines per inch[6][7][8][9] (1000 lines/cm). Each of the models have a 5.8 × 3.6 in (14.7 × 9.2 cm) active surface area, a weight of 290 ±50g, and 4 control buttons.

In the Americas and Europe, four models are available in 2018: Intuos Draw, Intuos Art, Intuos Photo, and Intuos Comic.[10]


Wacom's Wireless Accessory Kit is a USB dongle and adapter which allows all Intuos tablet Models connect to a computer wirelessly. This kit is compatible with certain models. It did not work with the 2011 Bamboo Splash, Bamboo Connect or Bamboo Pen models.[11]


The Linux Wacom Project produced drivers for Linux/X11. According to Peter Hutterer in his XDC2016 talk, Wacom has 3 Linux kernel developers (Ping Cheng, Jason Gerecke and Aaron Skomra) working full-time on Linux support.[12]


Several Wacom models, including the Intuos4 and Bamboo, were criticized for the drawing surface's roughness, which caused the small pressure-sensitive 'nib' to wear down, and become slanted or scratchy in the same way as pencil lead, albeit more slowly. This could also cause the surface to become smoother where it is used more, resulting in uneven slick and non-slick areas.

As the nibs were only short lengths of plastic, it was possible for a user wanting a more durable nib to improvise a replacement from a short length of nylon 'wire' (approx 0.065 inches or 1.7mm diameter) like that found in grass trimmer or 'weed-eater' refills, suitably straightened by hand and smoothed (rounded off) at one end with abrasive paper. Additionally, a thin sheet of glass or acetate can be placed over the drawing surface to avert surface or nib damage in the same way as screen protectors are used on phones, although in the case of glass this may induce a—usually modest—parallax error when tracing.[13][14]

The Intuos4 surface sheet was revised in October 2010 to reduce nib wear. Wacom Europe sells a bundle that includes the revised surface sheet and replacement nibs at a reduced price for installation in existing Intuos4 tablets.[citation needed]


In 2011 Thinkyhead Software published the free TabletMagic[15] driver. TabletMagic is an open source driver for discontinued serial Wacom tablets for use on modern Apple Macintosh computers running macOS. A compatible macOS and USB-to-serial port adapter are required. (OS X open source drivers for many such adapters are available from SourceForge.)[16] In modern times a micro-controller may be used as a USB-to-serial adapter.


Wacom tablets use patented electromagnetic resonance technology called "Electro Magnetic Resonance" ("EMR").[17][18] Their technology built into laptops with capacitive touchscreens is called AES, "Active ElectroStatic". It comes, as of 2021, in two versions. AES1 offers 2048 levels of sensitivity, but is criticized for wobbly diagonal lines. AES2 is supported by Bluetooth and doubles pressure sensitivity to 4096 levels, adds tilt sensitivity and allows for more precise drawings.


  1. ^ "Nobutaka (Nobu) Ide Assumes the Role of Representative Director, President and CEO, Wacom Co., Ltd". Wacom. Tokyo, Japan. April 2, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Wacom. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Wacom Investor Relations:Frequently asked questions". Wacom.com. Retrieved January 19, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Rogoway, Mike (March 12, 2015). "Wacom joins tech stampede to Portland, moving office from Vancouver and adding dozens of jobs". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  5. ^ https://www.wacom.com/en-us/about-wacom/news-and-events/2017/1257
  6. ^ "Bamboo Create". Wacom. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "Bamboo Connect". Wacom. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "Bamboo Capture". Wacom. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  9. ^ "Compare Bamboo tablets". Wacom Europe GmbH. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  10. ^ "Intuos". Wacom. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  11. ^ "Wireless Accessory Kit for Bamboo & Intuos5 | Wacom eStore - official Onlinestore". Eu.shop.wacom.eu. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  12. ^ "hutterer input". www.x.org.
  13. ^ "Wacom Bamboo Owners: How's Your Nib?". Graphicssoft.about.com. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "Intuos4 vs Intuos3 nib question - ConceptArt.org Forums". Conceptart.org. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "TabletMagic". Thinkyhead Software. February 3, 2013.
  16. ^ b_j_arnoldus. "PL2303 USB to Serial Driver for Mac OS X". SourceForge.
  17. ^ "EMR™ Pen Technology" (PDF). Wacom.
  18. ^ "United States (expired) Patent US4878553 describing the technology" (PDF). Freepatentsonline.com. Retrieved October 6, 2011.

External links[edit]