Pin It
Favorite

High Tech Tip 

By Marty Demarest


The paperless office was a nice dream. Remember when technology gurus forecast a world in which trees wouldn't be wasted, in which the only things that needed recycling were 1s and 0s?


It's true that e-mail has changed the way we communicate -- just ask the Postal Service and the long-distance companies -- and electronic office programs make it possible for anyone to generate documents and spreadsheets. But nothing quite works like paper. The problem for most people is navigating between these two worlds. How can you write with a pen, which is convenient, but still have the information in your computer, which is usually necessary for getting work done?


Logitech's new io Pen is the first device to take advantage of developments in technology that give users digital versions of their handwritten work without the use of scanners. The technology really rests in the special paper which you must use with the special ballpoint pen. Printed with millions of nearly-invisible dots, it lets the pen see exactly where you're writing and duplicate the page on screen. Simply drop the oversized pen into its digital inkstand, and every quirk of your handwriting or drawing is copied perfectly into a graphic file and loaded into a Word document. It even converts the pages to .jpg graphics for e-mailing. The pen also comes with a pad of 3M Post-it notes that live in the real world but create digital equivalents on your computer screen. And you can even buy a Franklin-Covey planner that copies your life to your computer as well. It's like having a service archiving everything you write or draw, and could potentially eliminate the reams of paper that most writers and thinkers accumulate.


Once the fun wears off, however, the disadvantages are major. The special paper, for starters, isn't cheap. Three Cambridge spiral notebooks will run you $30, while three pads of Post-its are $40. And because this isn't handwriting recognition software (which is running pretty well these days), you can print copies of your notes, but you still have to type them out if you want editable electronic text. But the io Pen is just an early step in what is clearly becoming a dominant direction in the computing industry - the integration of technology and handwriting. Until it's perfected, however, the pen remains mightier.





Publication date: 07/03/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Court of Understanding
  • Court of Understanding

    Spokane's felony Mental Health Court provides a framework for renewed lives
    • Dec 23, 2014
  • A Growing Wave
  • A Growing Wave

    More patients join the lawsuit against Washington's psychiatric hospitals; plus, a new report examining Spokane police
    • Dec 23, 2014
  • Cease-Fire
  • Cease-Fire

    What will Congress' new tolerance for medical marijuana mean for people facing federal drug charges?
    • Dec 23, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights

Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights @ Manito Park

Through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation