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Joto, the robotic drawing board that draws with a pen, launches on Kickstarter

Joto, the latest product from London design studio Those, launches today on Kickstarter. Controlled via an app, Joto is a connected display with a pen attachment which, once users have chosen what they want to see written or drawn, will begin drawing it before their eyes.

Joto is made up of two key parts; a wipe-clean display and a pen and eraser attachment, which is held and manoeuvred by a sleek mechanical arm. Via the app, users can draw live on the surface or send digital content to Joto, which then turns them into live drawings. Joto is as versatile as its users are creative, producing works of art, shopping lists or even messages to a loved one.

The idea behind Joto stems from the belief that people have a stronger connection with information and images if they are shown in a tangible form, rather than as pixels on a screen. For this reason, Joto is an ideal tool for both creation and communication, suitable for a variety of environments: at home, at work, in the classroom, in shops, restaurants and more.

From the moment content is sent to Joto and its mechanical arm puts the pen in motion, viewers are engaged. Whether it’s a meeting schedule in a boardroom or a menu in a cafe, Joto is a stylish and innovative way to present information off-screen, with the convenience of being controlled via an app on a smartphone, tablet or computer.

In November 2016, Joto was announced as one of the Beazley Designs of the Year, one of 70 nominees which went on display at the Design Museum in London at its newly launched home on Kensington High Street. Chosen by academics and industry experts, the shortlist aims to highlight designs which deliver change, enable access and push the boundaries of design practice.

In February 2017, Joto was announced as the public’s favourite design from the exhibition via an online vote.

Those has also partnered with a number of famous names from the worlds of design, illustration and art to launch “365 Days of Art.” Artists from around the world, including Anthony Burrill, Fred Deakin, Ben the Illustrator and Will Scobie, will produce 365 unique pieces of art which will be made available on the Joto app - so users can have a new image on their wall, every day for a year.

Joto is the latest step in the Those design studio’s mission to explore the use of technology in design, with a focus on connecting the physical and digital worlds. Joto’s predecessor, Woodpecker, is a fully customisable, professional drawing tool, allowing business users to bring surfaces to life with dynamically displayed information. Having achieved commercial success with Woodpecker (Twitter and Liberty of London are listed as clients), Those wanted to create a more accessible, consumer product that could be used in different environments by people of all ages and abilities.

The accompanying Joto app has been designed to allow further integrations with applications people use on a daily basis. Examples include:

• Slack and Trello - when connected with Joto, it can display work tasks, messages between colleagues, to-do lists and more
• Spotify - Joto’s mechanical arm will draw “Now Playing” information as users listen through different tracks
• Twitter - for instance, drawing tweets and updates from users’ favourite social media accounts

As the software platform grows and more users develop uses, further integrations will become available on the community-driven platform.

Jim Rhodes, founder of Joto, said: “Joto is part of a new movement away from the screen. Not because screens are bad but because people are discovering new ways to interact with internet. Joto wasn’t designed to solve a problem per se but instead give people an entirely new way to enjoy digital content through real-life drawings.”

Anthony Burrill, graphic designer, said: “It’s an opportunity to make work using a completely new medium and that’s something that doesn’t come along very often.”

Fred Deakin, Chair of Interactive Digital Art at Central St. Martins, said: “The notion of being able to create pieces of art live in a real world space with no screens, that’s completely new. I think it’s very empowering.”

The Joto Kickstarter campaign runs through until the 13th April 2017. Joto will be available to early bird backers for the price of £125, before moving to the standard Kickstarter price of £165. Backers will receive their Joto later in the year and, shortly after, the product will go on sale to the mass market.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joto/joto-the-first-connected-display-that-draws-with-a

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