Back in January, Don Lee introduced the Nomad Brush, a paintbrush with bristles made of capacitive fibers that can be picked up by an iPad’s display. Now comes the Flow, a nearly identical product trying to get off the ground over at Kickstarter.
It seems like a great idea at first blush, but then the problems occur. The iPad’s touch display can only register ten touch points at once, which means that if your brush has more than ten bristles, you’ll be losing a lot of granularity and detail. Consequently, a lot of the feel and look of painting with a brush will be lost, especially since the iPad’s display doesn’t register pressure. With a capacitive brush, then, you’re still trusting whatever art software you’re using to emulate the bristles… just not the brush stroke.
To be fair to Anthony and Russ, the creators of Flow, they seem to acknowledge in their Kickstarter video that the Flow won’t allow for the same precision as a real brush with real paint: instead, the Flow is all about eliminating friction, maximizing precision and using a drawing accessory you’re most comfortable with. For $20, that’s the kind of cheery logic that makes sense.