We are always interested in product and solution innovation in the sphere of input devices. Technically it is not that much of a miracle to build good input devices but the tricky bit is to improve the users experience not just alter it by changing how you feed your computer of phone with data.
The Israel based company OTM Technologies have worked on a pen device that basically let’s you write on any surface, anywhere, and have your connected devices receiving the information. That would most likely be written words, numbers, drawings or just scribbles to capture a good idea on the fly.
They named their newest product Phree and with the motto “Make the world your paper” they have prepared a project page on the popular startup platform Kickstarter.com. Their overall goal for this campaign was 100,000 USD and up until now 3,533 backers have pledged a total amount of 727,326 USD with 17 more days to go. You could say this campaign was funded more than successfully even if it ended today.
From the material shared the Phree pen seems to work smoothly together with up-to-date smartphones whether you write notes down into a note-taking app such as Microsoft OneNote or sketch a drawing in an art app that utilizes different sets of brushes – these all seem to work just fine.
I actually like the physical act of scribbling and taking notes in handwriting. I believe that adds an extra layer to your brain to memorize the information you are capturing – like minutes from a meeting or notes of an event you are attending. I only had the problem that usually I don’t have paper with me and even if I have a notebook then the notes are only there and not virtually accessible without taking a snapshot of the writing with your phone when you’re done with writing.
For that case I think the Phree pen allows you to just take notes wherever you are and they get synced up in the Cloud or whatever service you might be using. If you are familiar with the trouble I am describing you might enjoy using the Phree pen as your new input tool – and one of the most naturally working input tools I have seen so far.
Beyond the obvious functionality the Phree pen also have some very cool features on top such as reading messages on the Phree’s built-in display and connecting it as a Bluetooth mouse for your Laptop. The sensor resolution is 2,000 DPI with a motion velocity of around 0-1,000 mm/sec which makes it more than a worthy replacement for your traditional mouse, when you are on the road.
According to their publicized production timeline they should now be in the phase of still funding the design and production of the Phree, proceed to design and build it in July this year followed by test runs, manufacture the final product starting in February 2016 and finally ship the solution starting in March 2016. The final product’s pricing is not clear but we expect the Phree pen to go out for about 200 USD per unit, which makes it more of a business segment solution than one applicable for students, but maybe there will be light versions in the future.
There are still slots available to back the Kickstarter campaign so feel free to check their project page and back them, if you think this is a good solution that you want to see in the future.
Kickstarter: The world’s first unrestricted, high resolution, write-virtually-anywhere mobile input device.
Photo credit: OTM Technologies