An ingenious prototype pen developed by a German start-up is promising to give our longhand writing a similar sort of safety net.
Lernstift (German for “learning pen”) is a digital pen with a difference, carrying not only ink inside its casing but also a tiny computer that alerts users to spelling errors.
The AAA battery-powered Linux computer includes a vibration module and a patent pending non-optical motion sensor which recognizes specific movements and shapes of letters and words.
The pen employs a menagerie of sensors, including a gyroscope (for measuring orientation), accelerometer (for calculating propulsion) and magnetometer (a device that measures the strength and direction of magnetic fields) — all to calculate the pen’s 3-D movements.
Lernstift recognizes all writing movements, the company says, written on paper or in the air and built-in Wi-Fi allows scribblers to connect with smartphones, computers or other pens in a network.
The pen was invented by software developer and Lernstift founder Falk Wolsky after seeing his wife’s frustrations at watching their son struggle with his homework.
Highlights of Smartpen:
* Prototype ink pen vibrates when users make mistakes writing letters and words
* Lernstift (German for “learning pen”) created by Munich-based start-up
* Pen has computer inside casing with motion sensor which spots spelling mistakes
* Kickstarter campaign launched to help development and production
The first pens will initially recognize only English and German spellings, but other languages will follow.
Eventually, the company plan to offer pencil, fountain and ballpoint pen options with a launch price between €120-150 ($160-200) falling to under €50 ($60) depending on how fast the company grow.