For digital handwriting fans like me, Stabilo has come up with a potential winner at this year’s CES. “We are proud to present our first digital pens at CES,” the German pen maker claims. “Our biggest innovation understands your handwriting without any special paper or further accessories other than your smartphone or tablet.”
According to the full Stabilo press release, “handwriting can be transformed seamlessly into machinereadable clear text and thus saved so that it can be further processed in variety of ways on tablets, smartphones or PCs. The Digipen understands handwriting and also scores highly with other intelligent features that offer real added value to every user in their everyday life, at work, while studying or at school.” The device connects via Bluetooth Low Energy link or USB, “measures position, movement and writing pressure,” and has a claimed “2048 pressure levels.”
Stabilo claims that “it is scientifically proven that writing on paper is better for learning certain information.” I’d take that with a pinch of salt, but I still don’t need that kind of draw to make me buy in to a handwriting digitizer solution. The one thing that’s stopped me buying in to peripherals like the Livescribe Smartpens in the past is their reliance on special paper. No such issues with the Digipen, which apparently will write on any paper, and leave ink for all to see, as well as digitizing the text. And the reported price will be around EUR 100 ($108), which seems eminently competitive and affordable to me.