Nov 06, 2013

    Apps and smart pen digitise writing


    WRITING with pen and paper is entering the digital world, thanks to new apps that work with a smart pen to capture the written word and share and edit its content.

    New apps, with the help of the smart pen, take what people write or sketch on paper and enhance it with highlights, graphics and text. The written word can also be shared via e-mail messaging or on other apps such as Dropbox for cloud storage, or Evernote for archiving.

    EquilNote, an app for the iPhone and iPad, is paired with the smart pen, called Equil Jot. Its creators said the appeal is to preserve the art of writing, while updating it with digital enhancements.

    "The best ideas often start on paper," said Mr Greg Appelhof, president of the Americas for Equil. "But people use all sorts of ways of capturing notes... We wanted to create something that could capture it all, regardless of where it was written."

    As a note is being written with the smart pen, it is simultaneously shown in the app and is pixel-accurate, according to Mr Appelhof. The app communicates via Bluetooth with the smart pen and a receiver that sits at the top of a piece of paper. The receiver determines the smart pen's position using infrared and ultrasonic waves.

    EquilSketch, another app released by the company for iOS devices, lets artists and designers create multi-layered sketches with different brush colours and styles that can be sent to Photoshop and shared on social-media networks.

    The app is aimed at students and professionals who do not want to recapture their handwritten notes on a digital device, said Mr Appelhof. Both apps are available worldwide online and in Apple stores.