Kickstarter: The Flow Is A Capacitive Paintbrush, Kind Of
The secret to liking the Flow is knowing what you’re getting. Art on the iPad or other capacitive devices can be difficult due to the fact that interaction with it doesn’t really feel like drawing or painting. You can finger-paint, basically, or use a stylus to draw, and either way there’s a disconnect. The Flow isn’t going to change that, but it does provide a way for you to actually use a paintbrush on a touchscreen, more or less the way a paintbrush is supposed to work.

It’s basically a bunch of current-carrying fibers mixed in with normal brush bristles, allowing the brush to register on any capacitive touchscreen, be it Apple, Android, HP, or what have you. The trouble with this approach is simply that touchscreen software usually just reduces touches to points or circles; it’s not registering a hundred tiny fibers, or even the irregular aggregate brush shape, any more than it’s registering your fingerprint when you touch it normally. Furthermore, capacitive screens are digital and don’t register pressure, so you can’t make a “light” stroke. It’s just taking the shape of the brush and estimating a shape out of it — so technically speaking, it’s not much better than a stylus or finger.

So what’s the point? Well, it’s amazing how much more naturally things can be done when you’re using tools familiar to you. The Flow will probably make for better iPad paintings (for what it’s worth) simply because it’s a more natural way to paint. And it’s forward-compatible with screens and apps that will actually use complex shape detection, since it’s such a basic device.

They’re looking for $10,000 to fund the project over at Kickstarter. If you think this is a good idea (and don’t feel like putting your own together), drop a few bucks in the jar.