Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A new digital pen

Yesterday saw the PR launch of a new digital pen called the VPen. Like the ANOTO based devices it has a bluetooth chip to allow connection to a number of devcise and uses handwriting recognition software. The difference is that unlike ANOTO you can write on any surface and the prototype is the size of a highlighter pen.

Having been a user of the ANOTO system for over a year I have to say that although the technology is excellent. It is far more social to take notes with a pen and paper than a computer when in a meeting you are not putting up a barrier for example, it also works outside in bright sunlight. A number of people who having seen me using my Pen have asked about it and then gone and got the technology themselves. The problem is that over half who have purchased the equipment have then given up using it, the problem is that they don't like the fact that it is a ball point in an ugly case. Why they ask if the clever technology is the OCR camera why can't the manufacture put it in a fountain pen, preferably one that looks like a Mont Blanc?

I have to say that I don't know why they have not got the IDEO guys to look at the technology and make it more human?

At the end of the day we were all tought to use a pencil and paper why before we were introduced to a keyboard and so why don't were use a handwriting device for input?


Unknown said...

I'll be a lot more interested when the Anoto supports the Mac, after all it would be ideal for the creative industries. Secondly I don't think that the Mont Blanc is the only great role model for a fountain pen, mainly the most expensive one available in the duty free section of an airport departure lounge. I would be quite happy with a Rotring or a Lamy.

It will be interesting to see how the VPen gets on.

Ian Wood. Principal Wireless Foundry LLP said...

Ged I would just be happy for one that is based on a fountain pen, however my friends in consulting have an image to project.

As for support for the Mac, perhaps if Apple were a computer company rather than a consumer electronics company they might just convince a small software house in Sweden to write some code for them.

Anonymous said...

Am I right when saying that there is nevertheless a big difference with Anoto, because Vpen does relative positioning, whereas Anoto does absolute positioning?

BTW, I would like to take this opportunity to announce the creation of Digital Pen Tips.