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Turning Hand-Written Notes Into Digital Ink

Techstination feature for Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Turning hand-written notes into digital ink. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Seiko Instruments has been making a device called a SmartPad for a couple of years. It's a portfolio designed to transmit information written on the portfolio's pad into Palm PDA. Now it is making the technology available for Windows based computers and PocketPCs as well... with a product it calls InkLink...

"And InkLink is the first product that works the way you work. Whether you write on a legal size tablet or grab a napkin in a restaurant to jot down that great idea, InkLink will capture your handwriting electronically. It will allow you to save it, organize it and actually provide you with a great software tool called Ink Note Manager that enables you to perform all the editing features you could imagine having on your desktop. For the first time, ink becomes something that can be cut, copied, paste, stored and organized and even gives you tools to turn your jots and sketches into beautiful looking finished products."

Seiko's David Ball. What InkLink will not do is turn your handwriting into text that can be edited in applications like Word. A receiving clip can be attached to just about any kind of paper. When you write with a special pen ... the movements are transmitted through the clip into your PDA or PC. For note jotting in meetings and such, it could be a valuable tool. The question is whether there's much of a mass market for this kind of technology. InkLink will be on store shelves soon... for under a hundred dollars.