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What Is a Digital Pen?

M. Kayo
M. Kayo

A digital pen is an electronic device that saves handwritten text in a digital form and that can store handwritten notes on a computer or share them with other electronic devices. Digital pens can be comparable in size and weight to the pens that people use everyday, though some are still a bit bulky and awkward. They are ideal for those who prefer writing by hand over entering information into a laptop computer or PDA.

Most models of digital pen require special paper or an electronic pad and may actually contain a tiny camera within the pen itself. Other models utilize a recording sensor technology coupled with a docking type device that must be placed on or near the surface of the writing paper. Other handy digital pen features include online components to share the recorded information with others or to digitally record audio in a file that can be included along with hand-written notes. All digital pens can upload hand-written words, illustrations, and tables that can then be converted to use in a text document, e-mail, instant message, or other types of file. Using a digital pen is almost like having a computer in a meeting without really having a computer.

A digital pen may be used to store handwritten notes on a tablet.
A digital pen may be used to store handwritten notes on a tablet.

The best digital pens are those that are easiest to use. Most people can write and most people take this for granted, so a good digital pen adds something to this natural process without interfering with it. These pens must streamline or simplify the common tasks associated with writing, and the better digital pens do just that. Digital pens come with software that transfers and translates the data stored in the pen and that prepares it so that the data can be easily manipulated or transferred to any type of word processing program. The best software is easy to use and provides only practical features that allow computer users of all skill levels to easily perform the necessary tasks associated with the digital pen.

Some digital pens are equipped with Bluetooth® technology, a micro-USB connector built into the top of the pen, and even a headphone jack that allows user listening on-the-go. Digital pens may also be protected by a password, if desired. The digital pen may help the world to become greener by eliminating the need for paper while still maintaining the practicality and ease of writing information by hand. If they can be developed into something that people really want to use, these pens will likely be part of the technological revolution and possibly even precipitate a social revolution in the way people take in, record, and share information

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    • A digital pen may be used to store handwritten notes on a tablet.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      A digital pen may be used to store handwritten notes on a tablet.