Jim Rhodes - Director & Founder
Barney Mason - Lead Product Designer & Co-Founder
Launching March 2017
Central Research Labatory
Design Musueum Design of the year - Winner of Public Vote
It’s a nice idea that you can create something and people can download it and have it on their wall space
I’m super excited by Joto, we are very keen to have one in our home. My wife and son would use Joto for fun messages and important notes, but I would have one as a picture frame. An ever-changing piece of artwork
Joto doesn't solve a problem per se, but it does satisfy a human need for tangibility in a largely intangible world. There's something fundamentally more real about a handwritten note on the kitchen wall than a WhatsApp message.
Joto’s special because it enables you to take work from the screen that’s very perfect almost too perfect and it takes it into the real world and it gives it a personality. It’s an opportunity to make work using a completely new medium and that’s something that doesn’t come up very often.
The notion of being able of creating these pieces of art live in a real world space with no screens, that’s completely new. I think that’s very empowering.
A Joto on every wall! I think Joto has a place amongst the new wave of devices such as Amazon Alexa, that allow us to access information in an interfaceless way. At the moment we are supplying an app alongside Joto as its the most accessible way to interact with it but in the future we can see that it would display information integlligently so you always have the things you need to see on your wall at the right time.
We’re currently on Kickstarter, and we’ve just reached our funding goal, which is incredible. So for us, its manufacturing our first batch of Joto’s and building the software for release. We’ve launched on Kickstarter with something we call 365 Days of Art, allowing people to receive a new piece of art on their wall everyday for a year. We’re excited about working with artists and illustrators to see what they will produce for the platform.
There’s something about a pen writing or drawing that everyone connects with. Even though we’re surrounded by tech and screens, most people will still be using a pen and notepad in some form. When a drawing or message has taken time to be created, and exists in the physical space, we have a much deeper emotional with.
Hang Joto on the wall at home and its a picture frame that draws its own art or a family to do list. Put it up a cafe and it’s an updatable menu. Or use it in the workplace and it’s a team noticeboard.
Using the Joto app, on a computer or mobile device, you can discover, create and share jots. You can download art from professional artists and illusrtators, create your own drawings or messages, and even make todo lists or noticeboards. Joto draws everything with a pen onto a refreshable surface. It has an eraser that allows you to change the content, and a dock for the pen that stops it from drying out and refills the ink while its at rest.
Joto is the next step on from our previous product the Woodpecker. It was a large lightweight drawing machine that you could attached to retail windows. I used to work in a retail department store and was fustrated by how little beyond printed graphics were being used to engage customers. That’s when where the idea for an interactive window display came from. With the arrival of 3D printing and the maker movement a few years later, we were able to make it a reality.
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.
It’s definitely not a printer. The beautiful thing about Joto is that it doesn’t work methodically from top to bottom line by line. It draws as the artists created it, or as a person would write. We spent a lot of time making sure letters were formed as you would write, and not how a robot would write for instance.
The amazing thing we’ve found with Joto is that people come up with a new idea that they want to use it for. We’ve already had so many suggestions from the Kickstarter community.
One of the key challenges when making Joto is that it has to work in an upright position so that it can display the content it draws. Normally similar machines would work flat on a surface. We’ve taken a lot of innovative steps to make sure Joto looks great when its hung on your wall in your home.
An incredible amount. One of our key design principles with the Woodpecker was to make sure the robotics were not front and center. It is why it ended up being a character. It had to feel unthreatening. Traditional engineering approaches to similar CNC machines are heavyweight frames and enclosures with lots of wires and peripheral equipment. We wanted to strip this right back in order to make the pen the sole focus. This presented a lot of challenges in order to pursue the a non-traditional route. All this knowledge and learning as been put into Joto.
I used to work as a Graphic Designer in fashion retail and was frustrated by the lack of creativity going into the window displays. It was often sale signs and special offers and I felt there must be better ways to engage the passing footfall.