Photo Shoot: Bamboo Spark from Wacom!

A few months ago, I was excited to learn that pen and tablet maker Wacom was working on a digital notebook product. I got so excited about the product that they asked if I could be a part of the product’s photo shoot!


It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to digital technology. Having tried so many predecessors (whom I will not name) I was expecting some sort of notebook that required special paper to make it work. Thank goodness this wasn’t the case. The magic is in the pen, not the paper!


The Bamboo Spark is a notebook with smart ballpoint pen that lets you write by hand, then saves your handwritten notes locally or within the cloud for editing, archiving and accessing anywhere. The tech is in the pen and the notebook folio. You use your own paper, and you can synch your work to the notebook with the press of a button. You don’t need to synch it with a device right away. All of your images and notes are stored in pages inside the notebook itself (up to 100 or so) and when you synch the device to your phone, they’ll all show up for editing.


I brought the Spark on the plane the very next day after I got it and used it to draw and write during the entire flight. It felt nice to use something that was “kind of” a computer without getting distracted by status notifications. It also felt great not to have to manually take pictures of every note I took, because when I synched the images I was able to edit them! I asked Wacom about Dropbox synching and OCR, and they mentioned that they would be coming soon, along with more options for the notebook casing itself. Hooray!


This notebook has replaced both my large notebook and my iPad for now, and it stores a lot of paper in the little folder on the side! This makes me really happy.


Did you know that Wacom is Japanese company headquartered in Kazo, Saitama, Japan, and that the name Wacom means “harmonious computing” in Japanese? Wacom’s American Headquarters are located in Vancouver, WA – just across the bridge from Portland, Oregon. But I was told that the Wacom’s American HQ will be relocating to Portland’s Pearl district early next year! I look forward to seeing them in the neighborhood!


Want to check out one of these notebooks? You can get one here!

Amber Case using the Bamboo Spark!

Keynote Video from Delight 2015!

Delight Conference just posted my latest talk on Designing Calm Technology! Delight was held on October 5-7th, 2015 at the Portland Art Museum and was a great event for user experience designers put on by Portland’s Connective DX.

Talk description: Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary. Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user’s primary task is not computing, but being human. The idea is to have smarter people, not things. This talk covers how to use principles of Calm Technology in product design and how to manage the next generation of connected devices in our human landscape.

Today I’m putting the final touches on the Calm Technology book! It will be available in late December, but you can order it from O’Reilly books now!

Calm Technology on the Radical Therapist Podcast!

Ever since the NPR Ted Talks radio episode came out, I’ve been invited to be on a number of different podcasts. Podcasts are one of my favorite things to do, so I almost always say yet!

Two days ago, I was a guest of Chris Hoff on the The Radical Therapist podcast. The show explores the intersections of collaborative therapy, psychology, philosophy, art, and science & technology.

In this episode, Hoff interviews me about Cyborg Anthropology and the view that most of modern human life is a product of both human and non-human objects, and how we interact with machines and technology in many ways defines who we are.

We also talk about the principles of Calm Technology and the idea that technology should require the smallest amount of our attention.

You can listen to more interviews on the Radical Therapist website!