Please introduce yourself briefly.

I’m the Chairman of the Digital Stationery Consortium (DSC), and the president and CEO of Wacom. Wacom is the founding member DSC for promoting the adoption of digital ink and development of the digital stationery market. Our vision is to make the world a more creative place by serving people’s passion for expressing new ideas. Businesses often change, but the human drive for innovation and inspiration do not. Wacom is committed to advancing how technology can serve the people and their creativity. The DSC is an example of how we embrace that vision.

How will the DSC create a universal digital ink framework?

The objective of the DSC is to establish digital ink as universal, open and smart content format by promoting and managing digital ink formats based on WILL™. WILL’s digital ink technology ensures cross-compatibility of ink data, allowing businesses and consumers to freely communicate and collaborate across digital devices, operating systems, hardware platforms and cloud services. A universal framework will benefit how artists design; how documents are made and stored; and how musicians share their scores and music, and so much more.

Why is market innovation important?
For digital stationery to become mainstream, it is vital that we make digital ink technology a truly open, universal and smart content format. Companies cannot innovate across the ecosystem alone but need a diverse set of partners that support each other. Our membership reflects this diversity with members that include industry leaders in both consumer electronics and the stationery market as well as researchers, developers, and academics that are leading initiatives to advance AI, AR, VR. In the DSC Work Groups, companies across industry come together to identify how to harness and develop the power of digital ink to serve creative minds most naturally and intuitively.

How does universal digital ink framework help advance this new market?

Traditionally, digital ink applications have been limited to a certain group of people such as artists, designers, and creators. Yet, there are seven billion people around the world, and almost all of them use ink, but they do not all necessarily use computers. Also, digital devices cover about a third of the world’s population, but two-thirds are not always affordable for them. By making digital ink a universal technology, we hope to change the way that everyone can use digital-ink through digital stationery products, applications, and services. Digital stationeries can reach a broader user base as more intuitive and affordable solution in the future.

What is Digital Stationery’s impact on business and products?
With cloud technologies and IoT, we can make digital ink travel around the world without any boundaries. Also, we can connect the world more closely on a real-time basis either in a social network or enterprise workflow. It is the time to explore new breakthroughs in a broad range of industries such as education, healthcare, finance, or entertainment. By working together, the DSC explores new concepts, models, architectures, and applications that will help schools, families, artists, and business to create and collaborate with new ideas.

Would other types of companies benefit from joining the DSC?
WILL is an open digital ink standard for promoting the evolution of digital stationery. Anyone who joins DSC will have full access to WILL and the development community for digital ink. This community is an opportunity not only to build relationships across a range of industries but also to build a broad range of cross-platform solutions for the future.

In short – any company would benefit from joining the DSC. Any industry and businesses which are using pen and paper today for work for the home should be the beneficiary of digital ink. Any companies in the contents, publication, and services will benefit from the DSC. There is still a lot to do in the industry, but I feel very proud of how our partners are creating this movement together. In fact, this is a historic opportunity to add a new dimension to the IT industry.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Interview with DSC Contributor Member Montblanc

Watch full video interview here

Please introduce yourself briefly.

I’m currently a member of the Digital Stationery Consortium (DSC) Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the DSC’s Customer Use-Cases Work Group, and the Associate Director of New Technologies at Montblanc, where I focus on the digital products business. Montblanc represents the heritage of 110 years spent focusing on the beauty of writing. We firmly believe that writing in your own hand with high precision writing instruments, perfect ink, and beautiful paper will always be a human desire. Three years ago, we started our digital product journey at Montblanc. As we look to innovate our product areas around digital implementations, the DSC is a good place to ensure that we are part of driving this development.

What is Digital Stationery’s impact on Montblanc’s business and products?

At Montblanc, we talk a lot about the “golden triangle of writing.” The golden triangle of writing consists of a writing instrument, paper, and the ink itself. However, we see digital technology becoming an essential part of the triangle. The digital world is so ingrained in the lives of the next generation of users that we cannot neglect it. Rather, digital is becoming a tremendous part of our business.

As we look at digital offerings, we see that digital ink is really smart data; paper becomes another digital surface, like a tablet or a smartphone; and the writing instrument is the only thing that because of its tactility remains more or less the same. So for us, it’s very important to establish a universal digital ink framework, and become as well-known for our digital ink applications as we are with traditional ink, writing instruments, and paper. Montblanc is renowned for its ability to make the most exclusive ink in the world, and we are striving to make this happen for our digital ink applications as well.

Montblanc has joined the Digital Stationery Consortium (DSC) at Contributor level. What first brought you to the DSC, and why did you decide to become a member?

There are a couple of reasons Montblanc joined the DSC. Paper is not permanent. But, you can find paper everywhere, and you can write and express your thoughts everywhere. If you look at digital ink in this context, it is much harder to have it act as ubiquitous technology. There are different digital ink standards, devices, and writing instruments. So our ambition as a DSC Contributor member is to innovate around the analog world’s classic stationery set – ink, paper, and writing instrument – by bringing it into the digital world.

Would other types of companies benefit from joining the DSC?

The future of digital ink is so broad that there shouldn’t necessarily be a restriction on the number or types of companies joining the DSC. It makes sense for a wide range of companies to band together to make digital ink a universal framework, including startups, which are known for their innovative ideas, academics, which are part of the research community, and corporations, like Montblanc, that can turn innovations into reality on a global scale.

It is also fitting to have cross-industry collaboration from traditional stationery providers of writing instrument, paper, and ink, as well as technology, hardware, software, and cloud service providers that are working to improve how we use devices, digitizers, digital pens, and more.

You are currently the vice chair of the DSC Customer Use-Cases Work Group. Please tell us a little bit about what the group is working on and who should get involved?

In the Customer Use-Cases Work Group, we are interested in emerging digital ink components, applications, and services. For the time being, we are actively focusing on the use-case of note-taking. Now that we have digital ink, we can explore new ways to “take notes” within digital, augmented, virtual and animated worlds, while retaining the analog ability of traditional ink, writing instruments and paper notebooks. The Use-Cases Work Group is focusing on finding new universal digital ink use-cases and combining them with new technologies, like artificial intelligence, which is rapidly evolving.