22:15, Thursday 19 Sep., 2002 Link
Ah now, I like this (well, kind of). Logitech's new 'io' digital pen captures everything you write with it (on Anoto digital paper), all downloadable to your computer when you drop the pen in a cradle. The special paper doesn't bother me so much. Anoto is such a neat idea and usable in so many other ways that this is just a way of getting the pens out there; one day the pens will be used for checking active checkboxes in magazines (read Wired about Anoto). No, paper is fine. But the tricks they missed: The pen is Windows only. It downloads as special .PEN files which have to be exported to images. Why? Image capture is a generic device for USB -- why bother tightly binding the pen to the computer? Let it download images to any computer, present and future, and enable other people to easily write application making use of the pen. Logitech don't need to force the software on people to make them remember the brand, they're carrying the damn thing around in a pocket! Text seems to me to be the half of it, sketches are where it's at. Sell decent sketchbooks full of digital paper, high quality ink in the pens. That's the market. (But the cool feature the pen does have: the software files your notes based on which checkbox you tick on the special paper. That's neat.)
Other one of the products released at DemoMobile is the Canesta Keyboard Perception Chipset. Basically it's a piece of hardware that can recognise gestures. Coupled with the projection unit and a lightsource, the chip recognises fingers over a picture of a keyboard projected on a surface: a virtual keyboard. And these three are being sold for use in other gadgets -- phones, PDAs. Wicked.