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Another New Effort at Digital Ink

Techstination feature for Monday, September 20, 2004

Another new effort at digital ink. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. IBM, Seiko, Logitech and others have been trying for years to create gadgets that let you digitally capture words that you put to paper with a pen. So far, no one has hit the jackpot. Most have required special paper in addition to pens with transmitters. The latest device…the Mobile NoteTaker from NexConcepts…eliminates the special paper issue. VP Kirk Matsuo….

"The way it works is you clip it onto a pad of paper or single sheet of paper up to letter size…and you start writing. So what ever you put down on your notepad or your pad of paper is captured electronically. So if you're in a meeting and you want to take meeting notes…it captures electronically. And it's verified by the LCD screen here on the unit. And as you write, it scrolls down automatically."

A special pen…that uses standard ink refills…transmits to the small clip with an LCD screen at the top of the page. The clip can store about 50 pages worth of writing….which can then be transferred as graphic images to a PC through a USB connection. While the device works well…some folks ask…if you're writing on paper anyway…why do need to save it on a computer as an image?

"If you wanted to share your notes with a group of people, you wanted to save them electronically, you have that advantage as well."

A better, but more expensive solution, is the Tablet PC. The Mobile NoteTaker sells for about 150 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.