Connected Objects
In the smartpen game, Equil seeks its sequel

These days, childrenĀ in classrooms are probably scratching their heads wondering why anyone even bothers teaching handwriting anymore. It seems as if with all the ways that we can communicate digitally, the pen and paper method of writing is painfully obsolete. Sometimes, that handwritten touch is required.

The Equil Smartpen 2 functions exactly the way consumers expect from smart pens that digitize sketches and handwriting. What makes it different is that unlike Livescribe which requires special paper, Equil can work on any paper surface. Additionally, it uses real ink while recording and transmitting all the differences in both motion and pressure to digitize a completely accurate duplicate. The end result is that the writing process is not altered in the slightest and the digital version has all of the necessary detail and nuance that makes it ideal for sharing. With a different tip, the Equil Smartpen 2 also works as a stylus that can provide precise control on tablets or other pen-enabled devices. Equil needs $50,000 to put this smart pen upgrade out into the hands of users. The Equil Smartpen 2 is shipping out in October, and backers can start writing for $109.

The number of people who can actually put a smart pen to its full use is pretty much limited to graphic designers and other creative types, especially considering the number of pen-enabled tablets that continues to grow. Still, for those who prefer to have tangible notes that they can keep will appreciate having their notes in both in the cloud and in their hands. As an upgrade alone, there may not be enough to lure casual Equil Smartpen users, but for graphic designers and enterprising, note-selling college students, the relatively low price may be worth signing the check.