No matter how many new forms of technology we come up with for writing, pen and paper always seems to have a place. It's with this in mind that smart pens like LiveScribe and the Neo Smartpen N2 have come into use. Now, a new device called Paper4Everyone aims to take the idea of a connected pen a step further by adding in a collaborative element.
Paper4Everyone features three major parts: the smart pen, special paper, and its Windows software that allows users to see the writing and drawing of others in the group in real time or as uploaded later.
We-Inspire, the team behind Paper4Everyone, is promising that its smart pens will be able to connect to its software via Bluetooth, allowing changes to be displayed on a PC in real time. Multiple sheets can be shown on-screen at once, allowing real-time collaboration between team members while still writing with pen and paper. It's a little bit like the Smart Kapp whiteboard or the Equil Smartmarker.
The team is also promising features that allow users to take their work on the road with them and still share with the team. Users can store their writing and then sync later, so even if a member of the team isn't in the office, their ideas can still be visualized. It also has support for sharing in Skype, so remote team members can see ideas and be in the loop.
Another key feature pointed out by the team is that the images created are not tied to its special software, but rather can be exported into a wide range of popular image formats and shared via email or other applications.
As for the actual pen, it features an accurate 690 dpi Anoto optical tracking device with a frame-rate of 75 frames-per-second, which is solid, but a little lower than the Neo Smartpen N2's 120 fps. In terms of size, it's obviously bigger than a standard pen, coming with a weight of around 25 grams, and dimensions of 6.05 inches long and .61 inches wide (154 x 15 mm). That puts it slightly heavier than the N2, but lighter than the LiveScribe Sky.
For paper, there are quite a few options offered including Post-it, A5, A4, A3, Letter and Legal. There will also be a service that allows users to print their own paper, so once the initial set from the order is gone, users don't necessarily have to order more.
We-Inspire is seeking funding on Kickstarter to the tune of €50,000 (about US$54,126). Backers interested in preordering a starter package that includes the software, a pen, a stack of Post-It notes and a notebook can do so for a minimum pledge of €149 ($161) while the early special lasts. From there, the price jumps to €199 ($215). The team hopes to deliver its devices by December of this year.