Connected Objects

Diginote lets you take digital notes without the lag

Digital notepad devices are handy devices, allowing users to jot down ideas when there’s no pen or paper nearby. A common problem with most digital notepads, however, is that there’s a noticeable lag when writing.

The Diginote digital notepad is a device aims to overcomes this pesky lag issue. The device comes equipped with a stylus, but if users prefer, Diginote’s makers note that any ballpoint pen can be used on the device as well. A version of Diginote without Bluetooth capability has already been designed and costs $59. With its current Indiegogo campaign, its maker is hoping to release a Bluetooth model for $69, provided that the campaign can raise $5,000 by April 6. Both versions of the device are expected to ship in July.

The main issue with Diginote is that most of its capabilities can apparently already be done on existing mobile devices via third party apps. It’s also hard to tell from the campaign video alone if Diginote, as promised, truly incorporates a no-lag writing experience. It’s also unclear how comfortable and natural the writing experience is.

Connected Objects Writing

In the smartpen game, Equil seeks its sequel

These days, children 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.


Cell Phone Accessories Input Tablet Accessories

Bpen makes a stand with a stylus

The Premise. Touch screens devices are all the rage these days. The only problem? You have to touch them, leaving behind messy fingerprints on every phone and tablet. Also, as smartphones and tablets become capable of more and more, it’s become increasingly necessary to prop them up. It’s much easier to Skype, play games, send e-mails and many other things if both hands are free and the tablet or phone is upright.

The Product. Bpen really is much more than a pen as its slogan claims. It’s a multi-use tool that works for almost every smart phone and tablet out there. Bpen is a regular pen, a stylus that can be used on touch screens, and a stand for tablets and smart phones. It may just julienne potatoes as well. It’s made out of aluminum and comes in six different colors. The pen comes with the option of buying a base to help it function better as a stand (though the base isn’t entirely necessary outside of the car). Part of the pen folds out and plugs into the headphone jack to provide stability as a stand. In addition, Bpen’s creators have come up with a mini Bpen, lightweight enough to attach to a keychain.

The Pitch. Bpen’s Kickstarter campaign shows a video of the Bpen in action, displaying its wide range of uses. The rest of the campaign details how the idea for Bpen was conceived, as well as how the idea was developed. Lior Avrahami, Bpen’s creator, is looking to raise a modest $5,000 on Kickstarter for his product in a 40-day stretch.

The Perks. A minimum of $15 will get the backer two of the mini keychain Bpens. From there, an early bird special of a $25 donation is rewarded with two Bpens. Going up to $50, the backer will receive a set of Bpens and two bases as well. With each tier, the backer can choose which color their Bpens will come in. In addition, some tiers have the added perk of getting ink refills for their pens. Avrahami predicts that pens will be received by backers in April, which, given his experience with the factory he uses, is realistic.

The Potential. There are a lot of styli and stands out there for smartphones and tablets. Other dual stylus/pens exist, such as the lovely Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo found here, but none quite so Batman that they also act as stands. One drawback of Bpen is that when the stand is in use, it renders the headphone jack unusable. Other than that, Bpen should be a handy accessory to draw upon.