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Does it seem possible that the first tablets were already being designed as far back as the early 1980s? They were, and WACOM was one of the companies leading the way.

The name is a combination of two Japanese words - "wa" meaning circle and/or harmony and "komu" meaning computer. Rather than meaning that the firm would make round devices, the name was meant to create the idea of a closed or self-contained device. This could be seen in their first gadgets, which were cordless and completely functional on their own.

It could also be said to mean harmony with computers, and this is definitely something that WACOM strives to achieve today. In fact, they even describe their business vision as "creating harmony between people and technology" (WACOM, 2013)

Today, they remain a top innovator in this self-contained computer product line, but even their earliest generations revealed an innate ability to perfect a harmonious relationship between people and tech.

WACOM Products

It was in 1984 Ageo, Japan that the company announced the release of its WT Series which was the world's first table to use a stylus or cordless electric pen. The firm was simultaneously designing software and released ECAD in the same year as its first tablet.

Things moved rapidly after that, and by the 1990s their tablets were already in use by firms such as Compaq. Fast forward to today and you will see that the company looks at its business in a few ways. Though they put an emphasis on the production of pen and touch table products, they also provide solutions for notebooks, slate PCs, and eBooks. They also still create CAD software based products.

This is how and why WACOM can visualize its business in a few perspectives. For instance, they see that they must focus on:

Creative clients - this area of their product research and development emphasizes the need to provide creative people with tools to advance their goals and meet their needs.

Consumer business - this area of development looks at the many ways that "everyday" people put their products to use to make life easier and more enjoyable.

"Vertical market" business - this is the part of their product development geared towards innovation and solutions. This includes paperless systems and security solutions.

Component business - no longer limited to just tablets, this part of their business explores user interface needs and technologies.

Other business needs - this is the segment of the WACOM product line that looks at such issues as software, engineering tools, control boards, and so on.

Their approach is clearly successful as the firm currently holds roughly 80% of total global market share for tablets and their components. Three of their tablets are sold worldwide, and most will come with software bundled into the device. Most also feature digital pens or a stylus, too.

The current line of tablets and products includes:

* Cintiq tablets

* Bamboo tablets

* Intuos tablets

* STU tablets

* DTH, DTK, and DTU tablets

* Sign and Save tablets (business product line)

* Accessories such as pens, keyboards, and so on

This extensive array of tablets helps the company to nurture its "passion" that is part of the company's overall vision. This is expressed simply as "a world alive with creativity". Their mission is to "inspire and equip people to make the world a more creative place", and this is the force that drives their development and product design.

Other Initiatives

Apart from helping to make the world an optimally creative place, WACOM also has several eco initiatives. This makes sense for a firm that is paperless and efficient. Their initiatives are focused on recycling, including the recycling of products, packaging, and any electronics. To nurture this goal, the firm has an easy to use mail back program.

For those who are in need of a major tool for creativity, a tablet is a must-have. WACOM has been a leading name in tablets before the world even knew what a tablet was. Today they make a full line of tablets to meet almost any price point and to provide a truly productive and creative working space.


WACOM. Our Business. WACOM. 2013.


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