Digital note taking isn’t the newest thing in the world, but people still prefer to scribble thoughts down with a pen. And who can blame them?
Writing and drawing helps the cognitive process, and is totally unlike taking notes down by typing them. Unfortunately, getting your notes back to digital never quite goes as planned, but Moleskine may have a way of making it happen.
You see it all comes back to dots, though we may need to explain this.
This week, Moleskine has unveiled a tablet made of paper, which is to say it’s a traditional Moleskine bound notebook designed to look and feel a little like a tablet computer, complete with rounded edges.
While you can write on Moleskine’s Paper Tablet with any old pen, you won’t want to, especially when you see what Moleskine’s “Pen+” does. This is an aluminium pen that relies on a microUSB charged camera to capture your scribbles on the Moleskine Paper Tablet, monitoring those movements and imprints that occur on printed dots.
Yes, this page has dots all over it, and every page inside the the Paper Tablet has dots arranged in a specific way, and when the camera tracks the placement of the pen flow against the dots, it can track what you write and draw.
There’s a small Bluetooth transmitter in the pen, too, and this can send the information straight to an Android phone or tablet, or even an iPhone or iPad, relying on the Moleskine Notes app to take the information, where it can be stored, edited, exported, and shared.
“We see demand for our paper-based collections grow in double digits year after year, showing the continued relevance of paper in the digital age”, said Arrigo Berni, CEO of Moleskine.
“On the other end we are well aware of all the advantages of digital, for editing, curating and sharing. This is why we see analog and digital as a continuum.”
Worth noting is that Moleskine’s technology relies on a pen technology developed by NeoLab Convergence, which has developed the very similar Neo Pen, which as we understand can already be found in Australia, though in select places.
From what we can tell, the technology used here is very similar to what Livescribe has been producing for some time, relying on a camera in the body of the pen to track movements over dot paper, though we’re not sure you’ll find a microphone in this design.
Moleskine hopes to go beyond the analog to digital in more than the Smart Writing Set, with a range of products called “Moleskine+” which even includes notebooks made for Livescribe, Evernote, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
“The tools and services we provide in our Moleskine+ collection are designed to help people bridge the divide between analog and digital,” said Peter Jensen, Head of Digital Innovation at Moleskine.
“The Smart Writing Set represents a major step forward by creating an easy-to-use system that enables you to capture ideas as they happen and continue to work on them as they develop.”
Checking with Telegram Co., Australia’s Moleskine distributor, we’re told that only one store will be getting the Smart Writing Set at first, with NoteMaker getting the kits initially. There’s no launch date or pricing as of yet, though with a US price of $199, we’d say Aussies can expect closer to the $299 to $349 mark for this kit.
We’re looking to get our hands on it soon enough, though, so if the idea grabs you — particularly if you’re keen on continuing writing amidst calls to go digital — stay tuned, as we’ll have all the info you’ll need to tread both sides of the analog and digital divide.