Ideas shape the world around us. To make ideas come alive, you need to capture, shape, share, and collaborate with those ideas. Your ideas should not be held back by the technical restrictions of a keyboard or mouse. True creativity requires creative expression. We need the power of digital ink.

Digital ink for the 21st century is flexible, collaborative, ubiquitous, and expressive. No longer reserved for graphics professionals, digital ink is now available for everyone through WILL, the Wacom Ink Layer Language.

Enter WILL, the global standard for universal ink

WILL gives you the power to add powerful expressive tools to your new or existing application. With WILL, your users can share and collaborate with drawings and handwritten notes quickly and seamlessly, on whichever device they prefer, using any input from a finger to a Wacom enabled pen.

WILL provides cross-platform, high quality, universal ink. Create an idea on the iPad and continue refining that idea on a smartphone. Collaborate in real-time with coworkers in another country, regardless of platform. Release your app from the restrictions of text entry and allow the natural flow of ideas.

Why add WILL to your app?

Smartphones and tablets are overtaking laptop and desktop computers as a primary computing devices. Touch screens are everywhere, and a fast growing number support pen input. Stand out in the crowded app marketplace with precision input and advanced features enabled by WILL.

  • Business - For business users, WILL enables new categories of applications, including advanced note-taking, document markup, and online collaboration with digital whiteboards. Imagine a completely digital workflow enabled by digital ink, sharing with others worldwide. Work with remote colleagues on a digital canvas the same way you would use a whiteboard.
  • Signature - Want to take your paperless workflow to the next level? Add secure digital signature capture. Integrating WILL along with Wacom’s Signature solutions gives the flexibility of WILL ink input with the security of biometric handwritten signature capture.
  • Consumer - In the consumer world, WILL allows enhanced personal expression, connecting us more closely with the people and ideas we care about most. Instead of typing another emoji, you could share your expression directly with your friends.

Inking isn’t just for sketching, although it’s great for that too. Advanced metadata and precision input make WILL a natural fit into many industries.

Digital pen adds more

For the best experience, create applications that use the full feature set of WILL combined with a Wacom enabled pen, like the Samsung S Pen or Wacom feel™ technology devices. Bluetooth pens like the Bamboo Stylus fineline add advanced features to iOS and Android devices with standard touch screens.

Wacom believes in a world alive with creativity, so WILL provides digital ink to any device supporting a touchscreen or digitizer, even if your only touch is from your fingers.


This challenge is open to:

  • Individuals (who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry); Teams of eligible individuals; Organizations (up to 50 employees)
  • Organizations with over 50 employees may compete for the non-cash Large Organization Recognition Award.


Main Requirement: Create ink-enabled apps using the WILL SDK, or update an existing app with WILL to add ink inputs. [Note that while WILL is designed to work with Wacom or Bluetooth enabled pens, no special hardware is required to integrate WILL into your application. You can use WILL with touch input as well as enabled pens – so go forth and code!.]

Eligible Platforms: 

  • a native smartphone or tablet app (iOS or Android)
  • a web app (mobile or desktop)
  • a desktop app (Windows PC)

Supplemental Material: You must submit a demo video (hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or Youku) that walks through the main functionality of the solution via screencast or video. You must also submit at least one image/screenshot of your working solution.

Language: All submission materials must be in English or, if not in English, you must provide an English translation of the video (you can include subtitles or audio bubbles), the text description, and the testing instructions as well as all other written materials submitted. 

Online Stores: Your app does not need to be publicly accessible online to be eligible for the competition. However, finalist submissions will be required to post their applications in a publicly available store before the winners are announced in January 2016, so making applications public early is encouraged. 

New & Existing Solutions: Solutions may be newly created or pre-existing. If you are submitting an existing solution (developed prior to this competition), your solution must have integrated WILL after the start of the submission period AND you must have updated the application to include new features or functionality requiring WILL. If you are entering an existing solution, you will be required to explain the new features in the submission form.

Hackathon Sponsors


$51,250 in prizes

Top 5 Finalists (5)

Finalists will receive flight and accommodations for one (1) team member to attend the winners announcement at CES in January 2016 (valued at up to $2,250 per team). Finalists teams will also receive one Wacom Bamboo Spark per team (valued at $159).

Grand Prize

USD$20,000 cash prize

2nd Prize

USD$10,000 cash prize

3rd Prize

USD$5,000 cash prize

Popular Choice Award

USD$5,000 cash prize [Only Finalists are eligible for Popular Choice Award]

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  1. Click “Register” to sign up for important challenge communications.
  2. Visit the Resources page to learn about how to access and integrate the WILL SDK into your app.
  3. Register for free to access the Wacom WILL developer tools and resources.
  4. Create your app!
  5. Shoot your demo video and take screenshots of your functioning app.
  6. Provide a way for us to access your app.
  7. Get started on your entry and submit early!


Masahiko Yamada

Masahiko Yamada
President and CEO, Wacom Co. Ltd. 

Dr. Felix Frank Obschonka

Dr. Felix Frank Obschonka
Head of Innovation New Technologies, Montblanc

Alex Beim

Alex Beim
Founder/Creative Director, Tangible Interaction

Warren Schorr

Warren Schorr
VP Business Development and Global Licensing, Crayola

Steven Bathiche

Steven Bathiche
Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Corporation

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of Idea
    Includes creativity and originality of the idea. Applications that are not primarily drawing related will be given preference.
  • Implementation of Idea
    Includes how well the idea was executed by the developer and the extent to which it utilizes the full feature set of the WILL SDK.
  • Accessibility
    How accessible is the application? Does it run on multiple platforms? Is it publicly available?
  • Potential Impact
    Includes the extent to which the application could impact the life of the user, change daily use patterns, and increase the use of digital ink.

Tell your friends

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.