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Handwriting

If you're into handwriting, drawing, keeping diaries the old fashioned way and sipping wine, you may soon be able to merge all those activities into one. A new device created by Portland-based designer Jessica Chan adds a bohemian touch to the old fountain pen, by allowing it to be charged with any type of raw liquid with a staining property, including – you guessed it – wine. Called WINKpen, it also uses tea, beer, and anything else that tickles the user's fancy.

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The development of tight, cramped cursive as a result of degenerating motor control is a common symptom of Parkinson's disease. Known as micrographia, this condition can often lead people to put down their pens forever, but a team of British engineers say there might yet be hope for sufferer's of this dispiriting ailment. Dopa Solution's ARC pen is a vibrating writing device that stimulates muscles in the hand, giving those with Parkinson's better control when putting pen to paper. Read More
Armed with the knowledge that children tend to learn better when they teach their new-found skills to others, Swiss researchers have enlisted the help of a humanoid robot that improves along with them. This CoWriter system has been well received in tests with school children aged six to eight, where students "teach" the robot to improve its penmanship and see the robot's improved performance reflected in their own handwriting. Read More
While email has certainly made it much quicker and easier to keep in touch with people, there's still something really nice about receiving a tangible hand-written letter. That's why the Bond service was created. It uses a pen-holding robot to create a "hand-written" note in your handwriting, which is then snail-mailed to a recipient of your choice. Read More
These days, we are so reliant on computers that many of us rarely pick up an actual pen or pencil and rely on auto-correct to fix our spelling mistakes. But Falk Wolsky and Daniel Kaesmacher think there's still a place in this modern world for good penmanship and correct spelling and have taken to Kickstarter to get their Lernstift (German for "learning pen"), which vibrates to indicate when the writer makes spelling mistakes or exhibits poor penmanship, into production. Read More
If you watch a handwriting expert authenticate a signature, they will talk about echoes of the process of signing one's name – darker or lighter lines reveal pressure variations, the shape of the loops reveals the shaking of the hand, and the flow of the ink shows if the signature was laid down without hesitation. These echoes of the act of writing make a signature far more revealing than a simple squiggle on paper. Now researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) have created a credit card that contains a thorough description of these signature traits, which can be used for instant authentication. Read More
Use digital technology long enough and you start to become dependent upon it for such mundane tasks as spell checking. That means when you pick up a garden variety ballpoint pen you’re back in dictionary and “I before E except after C” territory. Like LiveScribe, the creators of the Lernstift digital pen hope to bring handwriting into the 21st century by having the pen vibrate to indicate when the writer makes spelling and grammatical errors or exhibits poor penmanship. Read More
The e-Reader has been a success story, there's not much doubt about that. But with only various shades of gray offered by e-Ink, most manufacturers are now diving into color LCD devices (with the notable exception of Amazon). Now China's Shenzhen Guangxuntong Communication Technology has announced a paper-like color display on its new S700 e-notepad, although exactly what technology is used to achieve this has not been revealed. Here's what we do know... Read More
Sometimes a laptop just won’t cut it when taking notes - particularly when jotting down diagrams or hastily scribbling sketches. Enter the CyberPad A4 from Adesso that converts your handwritten notes and graphics into usable digital information. Through the use of the bundled software (Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 for Windows and 6.0 for Mac OS X), Adesso says it is the only solution that links handwriting and graphics to the PC, providing a digital reproduction for future reference. Read More
November 8, 2004 The Nokia 7710 shown for the first time last week offers both pen input and handwriting recognition and an eBook reader on a widescreen display featuring 640x320 pixels and 65k colors. The 7710 includes also includes a full Internet browser, an integrated music player with stereo audio, an extensive set of video features such as Real Player playback, streaming and recording and a megapixel camera with 2-x digital zoom and an FM radio with Visual Radio client. Listeners will be able to see information on the song and artist currently playing on the radio or participate in competitions. Read More
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