Dane-Elec has developped quite a neat device called Zpen, capturing and digitalizing handwriting, as demonstrated below:
This device, introduced at CES 2009, needs to be clipped at the top of the paper on which the user writes on. It will then capture the pen movements and map them on a 2D plan so the notes can be reconstructed.
Apart from this being a gadget (I mean, this does not look like the big stuff we’ve all been waiting for, nor have I seen anyone use any similar device), I find it really interesting as a replacement to the two ways I’m used to take notes during interviews:
- handwrite notes then scan them and use OCR to get readable/copyable/searchable text
- bring my quad-core 8GB Dell laptop to capture a few lines in notepad, placing this device between my interviewee and myself which kind of break the connection…
At $100, this pen scanner could make a few gadget maniacs happy. Beyond, when I think of all these people typing far slower than they write, this pen would change their emailing/letter writing experience!