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iSketchnote: The iPad cover that digitizes your doodles


September 20, 2013

The iSketchnote lets you create a digital copy of your physical scribblings

The iSketchnote lets you create a digital copy of your physical scribblings

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Many people are now using an iPad or other brand of tablet as a tool for writing notes and drawing sketches. Doing so makes a lot of sense as the form factor is built with such tasks in mind. It isn't perfect, however, and some of us are resistant to the move from physical to digital. If that describes you, or you simply need a physical copy of your work as well as a digital copy, then the iSketchnote could be just the ticket.

The iSketchnote is an iPad cover that lets you mimic your physical doodlings in the digital realm. This could be the perfect crossover product for those individuals who prefer to use pen and paper to draft ideas, but who would love a digital copy of the end result. The iSketchnote can also be hooked up to a PC or Mac via USB, so those who don't own an iPad will still be able to use the product.

An array of sensors hidden at its core enables the iSketchnote to capture every pen stroke made on a piece of paper or notepad placed on the cover. Any paper can be used, and the pens are simple ballpoints which work in unison with the cover thanks to a ring-shaped magnet being embedded in them. The iSketchnote can even detect the color and tip of the pen being used.

Once you have finished doodling you can save the digital copy of your work, watch an instant replay of your scribblings being committed to paper, or share it via social media sites.

Having spent two years working on the product, the team behind iSketchnote is hoping to raise the funds necessary to bring their vision to reality via a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign video showing members of the team explaining the thinking behind iSketchnote is embedded below.

A pledge for the complete iSketchnote pack, consisting of one iPad cover and three pens, is US$149. There is also a version available for the iPad mini at the same price. If all goes well, a production version is expected to be available in May 2014 at a retail price of $189. Developers eager to build an app for the platform can gain early access to the API by paying $199 for their edition of the iSketchnote.

Source: iSketchnote, Kickstarter

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

I can't see the point of this, vs just getting a Samsung Galaxy Note, or similar tablet. As then you get a lot more that just pen input, for a lot less outlay.

Fran Firman

The central idea is great.

But Jony Ive certainly must be coughing.

If the Samsung Galaxy already handles this then AAPL is in trouble.


Island Architect

I agree Fran...

This is a product to overcome the shortcomings of a capacitive touch only tablet and is the reason why I replaced my iPad with a Galaxy Note 10.1.

I can't understand why Apple doesn't already have a pen enabled tablet. Correct me if I'm wrong but don't they market their products towards the creative crowd and digital content creators?



You're not getting it. This is something for an Apple. Now do you get it? Sheesh - having to explain stuff like that is exhausting!!!

Benjamin Wade

I am doodler. I can't seat through a presentation without doodling. Calms my nerve. I doodle everything that i hear, see etc... This is at another level. Good job guys...

Pritesh Desai


I guess the problem is I'm just not hooked in to one manufacturer, and choose the best product for the outcome I require.

I don't have any feelings towards or against Apple, it just doesn't in this case provide a tool I want, and shoe horning in a hack to get that, just doesn't do it with me.

For example, with this tool, it sounds no better than doing a doodle on a piece of paper, and then using the camera of your tablet to take a digital copy of it, vs, writing directly on the tablet, and having it being able to help with straighting lines, or doing layers, etc. Or anything else you can think of.


Fran Firman
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