31 Berlin AUG 2017
Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz   Open in Google Maps

About the event

On August 31, 2017, around 100 participants gathered at the Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz - an industrial construction from the 1960s in one of the most exciting parts of Berlin - for the Connected Ink event.  

Connected Ink is a cross-industry event for selected executives from leading companies who share the vision of digital stationery and related eco-systems including mobile devices, apps and services, displays, pen and ink as well as cloud services and IoT. It gives industry leaders the possibility to push the vision of a creative world and focuses on new developments in this area.  

Masahiko Yamada, President & Group CEO of Wacom, re-emphasized in his speech “Creativity separates humans and animals. Cats and dogs are our adorable companions, but they can’t change the future. Human beings can, and ink has been the primary tool for us to nurture our creativity and intelligence to make it possible. Ink helps us share joy and various types of emotions. Thus, ink is the primary ideation tool to connect people and it helps us to transform ideas - created in our brains - into something tangible.”  Mr. Yamada went on to say “So far, approximately 800 people have participated in Connected Ink events and 30 speakers made speeches. This shows many companies have taken interest in the Digital Stationery Consortium. Connected Ink connects people, activities and ideas. Opportunities are unlimited but we cannot do that alone. So, let’s work together.”   

Oguzhan Genis, VP of Strategic Alliances & CxO at SAP’s Center for Digital Leadership gave a speech with the title of: “Digital.Radical.Exponential - How to gain competitive edge in a disruptive world.” He said “It takes radical approaches to solve many problems. Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, Spotity, you name it.” He also pointed out that speed is important for success citing data that average life span of venture companies has shrunk by 25% during the past 20 years. He added that digital is also the key in that digital native workers have been increasing exponentially and how to take advantage of digital data will make or break businesses. Given this situation, building useful eco-systems based on trust will become essential and the digital eco-system is crucial for exponential success.  

Joohoon Lee, Principal Engineer, Mobile Communications of Samsung Electronics spilled the beans about the unique collaboration between Samsung and Wacom which started in 2009 when development for the first-generation model of Galaxy Note started. “Large screen was not enough and we turned to S pen as a differentiator”, Lee recounted. The S pen bundled with the Galaxy Note8 maximizes customer’s experience via its innovative features such as Live Message, Smart Select and Screen off mem. “In the future, we will strengthen the collaboration with Wacom in the area of signature and AI, too, and Samsung has joined the DSC to keep innovation going with partners.”    

Dr. Felix Obschonka, Associate Director New Technologies at Montblanc, talked about how Montblanc’s products have morphed into digital instruments, under the theme “Montblance in the Digital age.” Elaborating on the benefits of digital writing, Felix revealed the slogan “Start on paper, continue everywhere” and stressed “We connect the still very strong analog world with the emerging digital market. Writing instruments have to be perfect in your hand, and this holds good in the digital age, too. DSC is an ideal platform to pursue this course.”   

Nobu Ide, EVP in charge of Wacom’s technology solution business, demonstrated how digital pen will change the industry. “Pen cartridges deliver unlimited choices for our partners whether they manufacture fountain pens, ballpoint pens, mechanical pencils or pencils. And the Universal Pen Framework establishes a great pen-paper relationship, where Wacom pens work whatever a screen is. The unique pen ID works great for security, ink color and device sharing,” he said. He also introduced partner cases to open the new market of digital stationery, including collaborations with companies such as Microsoft, Eink, reMarkable, Terada Music (digital music score), Samsung (Galaxy Note8), Fujitsu Client Computing (education solutions), Montblanc and Staedtler (first customer of Wacom’s pen cartridge).   

Heidi Wang, VP of Product Management & Business Development, said “We transplant the power of ink into digital sphere” and introduced WILL (Wacom Ink Layer Language), the universal format for managing digital ink as well as rich toolkits for realizing digital ink.” She emphasized “WILL 2.0 can apply to any application, painting, memo, B2B, education and communication etc.”. Peter Sommer, Wacom’s SVP in charge of business solutions joined the stage and elaborated on recent examples of Wacom’s business solutions including signature pads, pen displays and the new Wacom clipboard, saying “With simple and engaging workflows, Wacom touches people’s everyday lives.”    

Faik Karaoglu, Wacom’s Senior Vice President Platforms & Applications, took to the stage and gave a recap about digital ink and how we engage developers and startups including Inkathon (ink + hackathon activities), Marketplace operated in as many as 130 countries (online market for creative and digital ink software), Wacom Innovation Hub (start-up support program) and Connected Ink (DSC promotion event) under the theme “Connected Ink Eco-System and startup initiatives”. He invited Zvezdin Besarabov, a 16-year old Inkathon award winner (third place), to the stage who introduced his ArduWrite.  “I’ve created a machine and a mobile app that learns your writing style, then transforms speech or text into handwriting. The text is drawn on paper by the machine using a pen, replicating your writing style”, he explained.  

Finally, Masahiko Yamada came back to the stage to talk about the latest developments of DSC as chairman of the Consortium, including the plan that WILL is set to become VR/AR-ready. He also said Eink has joined the consortium as a board member, and DFKI (German research center for Artificial Intelligence) has joined as a promoter. Giving an update on the three work-groups (WG) i.e. Customer Use-Cases WG, Technology WG and Developer Engagement WG, he stressed “Anyone who joins the DSC can be a member of either of the WGs.”  

After the conference program participants and guests mingled for the product exhibition and networking, where many fruitful and interesting discussions took place.