I just read about this neat gadget. It is a pen that allows you to transfer your handwritten on paper notes to digital format. I actually suspected it to be an April’s fool prank, until I got to the price. Starting at almost $400 for a basic kit, I think I will have to stick to the old fashion ways for a while.
At the same time, I wonder if it really would be useful to have an ability to export my handwriting into a computer. After all, I type better and clearer than I handwrite. What would it leave such a device for? Just for drawings? In that case, would this pen be a better solution than a tablet PC?
It looks like was a bit too quick on the keyboard. I watched a video about the pen here and I could clearly think about a few uses for this product. Particularly, I am thinking about research field work that involves qualitative data collection such as interviews. In these situations you would not probably carry a laptop and type your notes as you speak. At the same time, you would often take notes and if there are dozens or hundreds of interviews to conduct it can be very handy. Also, the $20 notebook where you are taking notes with this pen has waterproof pages and allows you to use tags (and GIS in the future), which makes it even more appealing for research fieldwork.
There is of course still the issue of price as well as some technical questions that remain open. For example, right now it work only with MS OneNote 2007 and I wonder how good it is with text recognition. I have a really bad handwriting, yet it would be great to have an ability to turn the hand written text into editable typed format. Anyway, it looks interesting.