For years, plans to close the gap between paper and computers seemed the stuff of madmen. Try as they might, research labs failed to develop commercial products, and the best solution was probably the clunky and expensive Tablet PC. In the last 12 months or so, however, several suppliers including BT Exact, Compupen and the embryonic sector’s leader, Sweden’s Anoto, have brought to market digital pen products that actually work. Suddenly the idea does not seem quite so ridiculous.
Early adopters include, well, just about anybody you can think of: people up ladders; doctors filling out bedside records; engineers fixing cellular base stations.
Ceri Carlill, a partner at Accenture Labs in Sophia Antipolis, France, is impressed. “We identified the technology as being potentially important quite some time ago. But there have been a number of developments recently that have revised upwards our opinion of its importance,” he told Infoconomy, the publisher of Information Age, recently. “We feel that digital pen technology is ready for the enterprise market.”