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Writing

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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By repurposing and updating an e-paper technology from the 1970s, researchers from the University of Tokyo have created a cheap but tough new electronic display that can be written on with a magnet. This new e-paper could be used in low-cost, lightweight electronic whiteboards as well as traditional classroom blackboards, and its creators hope that it will eventually reduce our dependence on real paper. Read More
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
With touchscreens and keyboards never far from our fingertips these days, paper notebooks might not be as essential as they once were. But there's still something pleasant, if not always convenient, about putting pen to paper. The latest book to join a growing library of digitally inspired writing platforms is Rocketbook, and it does so with an interesting twist. In addition to shooting handwritten notes and doodles to the cloud, when it fills up users can stick the book in the microwave to wipe its pages clean. 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
We humans are obsessed with storytelling. We tell stories to people we meet and people we love. We can't get enough of the stories that drive movies, video games, television, and books. We communicate with stories, and now we're training our computers to do the same. By writing sets of rules and instructions of varying complexity, artificial intelligence experts can enable computers to write stories both real and fictional. Some of these algorithms, as you'll see shortly, produce articles or reports with the sort of flair you'd think only a human could provide, which has fascinating implications for the future of publishing. Read More
Having tasked technologists with challenges as diverse as Ted Talkin' artificial intelligence and bringing Star Trek's iconic tricorder to life, XPrize has now turned its attention to an equally ambitious task. Millions of children around the globe don't have basic literacy skills, presenting a problem that cannot be solved without some big picture thinking. Launching today, the Global Learning XPrize offers US$15 million in prize money for the development of software that teaches children these vital skills in the space of 18 months, without the presence of a teacher. Read More
Drawing or making notes with a computer pen or stylus doesn't have the same feeling as using a paper and pen. Sometimes, however, you want to digitize something that you've drawn or written by hand. The new Moleskine Livescribe notebooks let you do both at the same time. Read More

Back in May we reported on plans to create the Scribble – a pen that can scan and reproduce any color you can find on the fly. After the project smashed its Kickstarter target in just five hours, those plans are now one big step closer to reality. Read More

If you want to sample a color that you encounter in the real world and then reproduce it on your computer, you might already be interested in devices like the SwatchMate Cube or the NODE Chroma module. Sometimes, though, you might just want to do some freehand pen-and-ink drawing using such "captured colors." That's just what Scribble's upcoming Ink color picker pen is designed to let you do. Read More
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