Phree smartpen digitizes your doodles, no matter where you draw them

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With a laser blasted out of its tip, Phree can convert real-life scribbles into digital notes in real-time, no matter where you write them

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Devices like Smart Kapp and Livescribe's extensive line of clever pens are just some of the ways you can stream your scribbles to digital displays in real time. The thing is, though, they also require that you to write on certain purpose-built materials like whiteboards, dotted paper or even microwaveable notebooks. Looking to break free of these limitations is Israeli startup OTM Technologies – its Phree Bluetooth smartpen shoots a laser beam from its tip to allow you to write on just about any surface you like.

If there's an urgent need to record something these days we aren't exactly short of tools by which to do it. Smartphones are more than capable dictaphones, cameras and notepads, but for many there's still everyday scenarios where the feel of putting pen to paper (or a fridge or carpet in this case) is the only way to do it.

Phree is billed as a stylish tool that can chronicle your most important thoughts when they need to be chronicled in a way that feels more natural. It does this through a handy little tool in its tip that the developers call the world's smallest 3D laser interferometer.

This patented sensor works by shooting a laser beam onto the writing surface. It then monitors interference between this beam and the reflections coming off the surface. This information is processed by algorithms, converted into a motion signal and translated into digital doodles instantaneously.

The pen is compatible with existing software such as EverNote, Google Handwriting Keyboard and Viber and the company says it will connect with anything that has a Bluetooth connection, be it your phone, tablet, laptop or TV.

Phree also features an OLED touch display on its side to show the time, along with notifications, messages and calls from a Bluetooth-connected device, while a built-in microphone and speaker allow it to function as a headset to take those calls.

OTM Technologies has taken to Kickstarter to bring Phree to market. Initially setting out to raise US$100,000, it was now passed the $500,000 mark, with pledges of $219 still available at the time of writing. Shipping is slated for April 2016 if the rest of the campaign runs as planned.

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