For those who like to write on paper with an ink pen, EPOS has been producing a very interesting USB based pen solution. They’ve just upped the ante, though, with their new Digital Pen & USB Flash Drive combo unit. The idea is that you can position the oval USB device at the top of your paper and write with the pen just like normal. Once you’re done, you plug the USB device into you computer and upload the data. The pen can use either regular ink or you can swap out for a stylus and be able to write on anything, even your desktop.
Way back more than a year ago I got to play with some really early models of EPOS pens, back when the receiver was still tethered to a laptop. I was very impressed with how well it worked and, at that point at least, it worked with my Tablet PC just fine. The system technology is actually sonic – the pen and receiver communicate using ultrasonic waves – so it has the understanding of the pen location in 3 dimentions. Yes, you can "hover". Also interesting is that every pen has it’s own sound, so a receiver can distinguish between multiple different pens. They picture the possibility of using EPOS technology in Tablet PCs by using the EPOS pen solution. Could be a replacement for Wacom? According to EPOS, in Windows Vista, this can turn any system into a Tablet PC, including the handwriting recognition and pen flicks.
The new design looks pretty attractive. I could imagine having one of these in my pocket for emergency pen input when I don’t have my Tablet PC with me.