Submitted by: Vince Collins 17/10/2014
Australian design studio creates the only writing tool you’ll ever need
Do you want to see design that bridges analog and digital technologies? See what NeoLAB Sydney has been up to lately. Their latest creation, dubbed the N2 Smartpen, seeks to be the only pen you’ll ever need. Their writing utensil works just like a traditional ink pen, only it’s doing double duty, storing every stroke, sketch, word and letter you jot down.
The pen turns on with a tap of the point and starts recording the moment you start writing or drawing. There is no need for the pen to be connected to another device until you are ready to view, download and sift through your notes.
One of the biggest benefits NeoLAB touts comes in the writing experience. While many smartpens are bulky and awkward to write with for long periods of time, N2 measures just over 6 inches long and half an inch in width, the average size of a standard ballpoint pen. It weighs in at just under an ounce and stores up to 1,000 pages at a time.
NeoLAB also seems to have done a good job anticipating how people will want to use this device. Using the free N2 smartphone app (iOS, Android, Windows), users can easily export to programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, create PDFs or sync to Evernote. Quickly emailing your notes is also an option. The smartpen and app also have a few other interesting uses. Using a feature called synchronized recording, users can record their voices while writing and then replay those notes and audio simultaneously. Using what’s termed as handwriting recognition, handwritten notes can be transcribed digitally so that they are easily searchable.
If you’re curious, the one caveat is that notes do need to be made on N2 notebooks, although NeoLab promises that these will be inexpensive. Ink for the pen is replaced with a standard refill accessory found online or at office supply stores.
Personally, the writer in me is salivating over being able to write in an analog notebook and having that instantly transcribed in a digital format. I can only imagine what illustrators and other artists will be able to do with this technology and how it will make lost work a thing of our distant past.
The N2 Smartpen has already well surpassed its Kickstarter goal, but still has about a week of fundraising left. Pens are expected to be delivered to the earliest backers by the end of the month.