April 27, 2004
Finally a ''digital pen'' that works?
Digitizing pens aren't really hot news anymore. Crosspad did it many years ago, and various pens have used various proprietary technologies to find out where on the paper they are.
What makes this article in May's Technology Review different?
This time it's Microsoft tinkering with the technology, integrating it with the most sold word processor of all times: Microsoft Word! I think it goes without comment that if this technology delivers to its promises, we're facing no less than a revolution in the way we use computers today. Tablet PCs haven't really taken off - the bulk and the GUI does not make them efficient for a lot of users. Reviewing printed documents by using a pen, though, is something every business person in the world does. Hence the revolution when the pen goes digital and integrates with the word processor "everybody" use:
Unlike gizmos that write on computer displays or special pads of paper, Wang’s invention uses regular ink, works with regular paper, and lets users combine handwritten text and diagrams with digital content from reports, magazines, and Web pages. An executive on a plane trip, for instance, could mark up a paper copy of a report and later transfer the changes to the file on his or her computer automatically.
The field of digital hand writing is certainly exciting. The article on Microsoft gives an indication that the market is becoming mature. However, in comparison to Microsoft's research project, I would probably advice you to take a look at www.anoto.com - a technology that has been on the market for about 2 years now.
Check out www.anoto.com. They were out with such a concept long before microsoft...
Logitech, Nokia, Sony Ericsson all make digital pens...
The Technology Review article was incredibly negligent in making it seem as if Microsoft invented this technology. As others have mentioned, Anoto has pens just like this that have been produced by Logitech, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson and some of them have been on the market for a couple years.
Also, I believe the author of this blog is incorrect in stating that the Microsoft pen will work with "regular paper." I only read the article once but it appeared pretty obvious to me that the pen required "watermarked" paper, just like the Anoto pens.
There is nothing revolutionary about the Microsoft Universal Pen.
Check out www.pegatech.com this pen works on regular paper is easy to handle and very reliable. Anoto is too big, too expensive to buy and to operate.
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