7 On Your Side checks out smart pens

September 12, 2013 10:31:01 PM PDT
Phones aren't the only communication devices that have smartened up. Now, writing pens are getting smarter too. 7 On Your Side took a look at a few smart pens.

These devices can be very basic or amazingly complex and their price tags reflect the embedded technology.

During a demonstration it looks like someone is just writing in the average notebook with an average, but slightly larger, writing pen. However, when you put the two devices together, you have quite the set up. It is called the Sky Wifi Smart Pen.

Bryan Rodrigues works for the pen's maker, Livescribe. He told us, "There is a camera in the pen and each page of the notebook has a unique pattern. Every three millimeter square is a unique pattern and that is how it tracks exactly where you are."

The pen records everything it writes and draws and if you want, records your voice too as you write and draw. So if you write a math equation, the accompanying illustration is recorded by the pen and sent to cloud storage where it can be downloaded and shared on most any device.

Teachers can use this technology and email their lessons; students can use it to take smart notes.

"It really is completing the circle in a lot of ways. There is a lot of stuff that you can do on paper that you can't do on glass and on these devices. So it is really a partnership," said Rodrigues.

We looked at another partnership -- a tablet and penmanship. The App Crayon is ergonomically set up for little hands and it teaches handwriting. It uses arrows to show kids how to properly create their letters.

"When you start to make the alphabet it kind of has an arrow and it shows you the path and if you try to go of the path, it won't let you write anything. So it teaches you to stick to that path to form the alphabet," said 7 On Your Side staffer Noelle Garcia. She tested it out and gave us her take. She said, "One of the benefits I thought was great is that the crayon can be for left-handed or right-handed individuals, so I think that is great because it is not just focusing on one type of writer."

The Sky Wifi Smart Pen retails for $169 and up depending on storage. The App Crayon goes for about $10, but we also saw them online for $6.


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