After watching UK channel fives Gadget show tonight, I was really impressed with a new digital pen that has just been released in the UK. Part of the show is called the 'Focus Group' and tonight they did it on Computer Peripherals. They included:
- Optimus Maximus Keyboard - Fancy keyboard with OLEDs
- 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator - 3D mouse, great for architects looking round 3D images.
- Dane Elec zPen ... (shame the website is down!)
Anyway I have been looking for a digital pen for some time, so was really happy to see this on TV. Everyone likes to write things down.. telephone calls, meeting notes, brainstorming. Trying to use a Wacon tablet with OneNote was a real PITA. Also when I attend my monthly team meeting, all of us are sitting behind laptop screens, checking email and not engaging with the meeting.
Digital pens have been around for some time, but have always needed a special tablet, or special paper. I don't mind putting some money down upfront, but I do NOT want to keep having to buy new paper everytime it runs out. Also, it needs to be portable.. The Dane Elec zPen should be, and according to theUS Amazon site you should be able to:
- WRITE with the pen, on any kind of paper (with the receiver on top of your page)
- DOWNLOAD your handwritten notes on your PC and view them on screen
- FIND keywords back on your handwritten notes
- CONVERT your handwritten notes in digital text, to use it on your standard word processing software applications
It takes standard biro refills, and apart from one downside - the battery life does not seem to be that great - it looks a sure fire winner! It has the ability to upload 1Gb of data (using a proprietary .eli format) which creates PDFs, and these can then be OCR'ed to your text editor of choice.. Maybe I can convince the boss to buy 25 of them and tell everyone to turn the laptops off!
So I need to know if anyone has used this yet?? Any US or UK customers willing to point me to a couple of reviews? google didnt bring much back I'm afraid.. and there is no zPen wikipedia page (there is one for digital paper)