We've mentioned digital pens before on this blog just because they're so cool and seem quite handy for specific applications. Here are two more we've read about recently, one for medical professionals and the other for children.
Shareable Ink is a ballpoint pen with built-in camera that streamlines the medical billing and record-keeping process by instantly transferring data from hospital forms to computer.
Doctors use the pens to fill out the specially designed forms, while the camera in the tip records all the information. Then, they have the option to send the information wirelessly to the records system, or to dock the pen for transfer.
The pen automatically fills in the form on the computer, exactly as the doctor completed the original.
Check out this video from the medGadget blog of company founder Dr. Vernon Huang, an anaesthesiologist, demonstrating how the pen works.
The LeapFrog FLY Fusion Pentop Computer is designed for children (the company recently changed the age range from 8 years and up to 13 years and up) and works like most other digital pens: Kids write on special microdot paper and the camera in the tip captures each movement, whether text or drawing.
The pen comes with 64 MB of memory and connects to a computer by USB cable. Once hooked up, it will transfer everything the camera captured, exactly as it was written. Well, provided the child holds the pen correctly and writes legibly. Otherwise, the images get garbled, according to Ryan Preston's great review at The Gadgeteer.
Additional features from the company's website:
Touch your pentop computer to FLY Paper, and you can quiz yourself on history, get help with a quadratic equation, or even play your favorite MP3. And when you're ready for new software, simply connect to your PC again to purchase and download custom homework and gaming applications directly to your FLY Fusion Pentop Computer.
One thing we're left wondering about these and other digital pens is how well they write. Most of them seem to be using some type of ballpoint refill, so they can't be all that smooth, especially on dot paper, but if anyone has used a digital pen, we'd be interested in hearing about the actual writing experience.