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Linux-Based Smartpen Heads For Kickstarter

timothy posted 1 year,15 days | from the veil-spass-beim-kuli dept.

Input Devices 69

DeviceGuru writes with a snippet from LinuxGizmos: "A Linux-based digital pen from German startup Lernstift will go live on Kickstarter on July 10 for about 115 Euros, or $148. The Lernstift pen incorporates an ARM Cortex processor, a WiFi module, and a motion sensor, and is designed to correct penmanship, spelling, and grammar errors as you write. A set of 3D motion sensors, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer help the smartpen's embedded Linux computer calculate the pen's 3D movements and generate 2D vectors. Kickstarter supporters pledging 99 Pounds (about 115 Euros, or $148 U.S.) will receive the first shipment of pens later this year, and standard pricing is expected to start at 130-150 Euros when production devices ship in early 2014."

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69 comments

No italic-nib fountain pen option? (0)

WillAdams (45638) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225805)

Ball points just don't work for me, gel pens are barely tolerable, felt tips and markers are okay, but the only writing tools which I really enjoy and am pleased to use are fountain pens (preferrably with italic nibs).

William

Re:No italic-nib fountain pen option? (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225869)

Agreed. I have a couple fountain pens and love writing with them, but I just don't write enough to constantly ink them. I absolutely hate most ballpoints, with an exception for some very nice gels I've found. Even then, I still prefer the fountain.

Re:No italic-nib fountain pen option? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226121)

Maybe you should RTFA? "The device supports exchangeable pencil, ballpoint, or fountain pens, and is available in multiple colors."

Hurf durf, just had to get that first post didn't you?

Glad to see a italic-nib fountain pen option (1)

WillAdams (45638) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226573)

I did look through the entire article in the first link, and regret having missed the small textual entry of ``fountain pen'' and admit that in retrospect, I should've clicked on the company's link, the first image of which (currently) shows a fountain pen insert.

Mea culpa.

William

Re:Glad to see a italic-nib fountain pen option (1)

arth1 (260657) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227575)

I have some questions as to how well the feedback method (vibrating) will work when using a fountain pen insert.

It's also way too fat.

Re:Glad to see a italic-nib fountain pen option (1)

BluBrick (1924) | 1 year,15 days | (#44231819)

Peasant: What I object to is you automatically assume superiority.

WillAdams: Well I do write with a fountain pen!

Peasant: Oh, fountain pen? Very nice! An why do you do that, then?

WillAdams: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft MontBlanc from the bosom of the water. Signifying by divine providence that I, WillAdams, shall be placed above the hordes of Bic-toting plebeians. That is why I am your better!

Peasant: You can't expect to become an elevated being just because some watery tart threw a pen at you.

WillAdams: Be quiet!

Peasant: Strange women lying in ponds distributing writing implements is no basis for a system of class distinction.

WillAdams: Shut up!

Peasant: I mean, if I went round saying I was enlightened because some moistened bint had lobbed a Schaeffer at me, they'd put me away!

WillAdams: Shut up, will you. Shut UP!

Re: No italic-nib fountain pen option? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226171)

"I don't read cursive."

"Don't be a retard."

Re: No italic-nib fountain pen option? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226189)

Wrong! It goes: "That's retarded, sir."

Re: No italic-nib fountain pen option? (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227393)

It's a dead language. It's why Early Cuyler quit school in the second grade. Refused to allow the government to force it upon him.

Re:No italic-nib fountain pen option? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226357)

While you're sitting here masturbating at your first post status and the fact that you use fountain pens, the article answers your concerns fully

Re:No italic-nib fountain pen option? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226421)

Ball points just don't work for me, gel pens are barely tolerable, felt tips and markers are okay, but the only writing tools which I really enjoy and am pleased to use are fountain pens (preferrably with italic nibs).

William

My fountain pen has a Comic Sans nib.

Re:No italic-nib fountain pen option? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227247)

Ball points just don't work for me, gel pens are barely tolerable, felt tips and markers are okay, but the only writing tools which I really enjoy and am pleased to use are fountain pens (preferrably with italic nibs).

My fountain pen has a Comic Sans nib.

Perhaps you should patent such an exotic thing. The fairly mundane italic nib [richardspens.com] is quite well known [amazon.com] to afficionados of fountain pen nibs [jetpens.com] .

Yeah, but... (1)

Smivs (1197859) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225827)

will it look like a penguin?

not going to work (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44225833)

this is never going to actually materialize. you need some sort of absolute position detection, a la livescribe's special paper pattern and camera embedded in the pen.

Correct Penmanship, Spelling & Grammar? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44225839)

I can fix my spelling & penmanship by typing everything into a computer. The grammar? It's never going to get better than it is right now because I'm old, I'm set in my ways, and I already have too many signs prepared telling people to get off of my lawn.

Re:Correct Penmanship, Spelling & Grammar? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225929)

I can fix my spelling & penmanship by typing everything into a computer. The grammar? It's never going to get better than it is right now because I'm old, I'm set in my ways, and I already have too many signs prepared telling people to get off of my lawn.

well they had to think of something smart for it to do... just copying 2d shape saving is from last decade.

I like nice writing implements, (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225849)

and I love Linux, but I have no desire to combine the two. Writing by hand is just one of those things I have to do sometimes but not enough to invest in this kind of thing.

Re:I like nice writing implements, (1)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226905)

and I love Linux, but I have no desire to combine the two. Writing by hand is just one of those things I have to do sometimes but not enough to invest in this kind of thing.

I prefer to take notes by pen rather than computer - I find that I listen better when I write versus when I type.

If this pen lets me write *and* will record a searchable electronic version of my notes including digrams and automatically uploaded via Wifi, then I think it's fantastic. I used an electronic notepad years ago that promised the same, but it required a Windows host, the OCR was horrible and even the digitized bitmap version of the page wasn't that great - as far as I know, it captured bitmaps rather than vectors.

The grammar/spelling correction features of this pen don't sound that useful for me, since when I want prefect writing, I use a computer.

Re:I like nice writing implements, (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227095)

You make a lot of interesting points here, I was never much of a note-taker. I have always found such multitasking difficult and end up missing half the meeting/lecture and the notes are effectively useless as a result. But I can see where you're coming from. Now, this on the other hand:

The grammar/spelling correction features of this pen don't sound that useful for me, since when I want prefect writing, I use a computer.

I can't help with that one ^_^

Re:I like nice writing implements, (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44232075)

I find that I listen better when I write versus when I type.

I find that I listen better when I just listen.

hey (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44225921)

unless it sucks my dick then it costs too much

No thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44225945)

Sounds pretty fucking stupid.

Re:No thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44227819)

Thank you for that polite, well-reasoned comment.

Or... (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225969)

I could buy 10,000 ball point pens from Office Depot. Which do you think will last longer?

Re:Or... (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,15 days | (#44225999)

Sometimes it's not about lasting longer. At least, that's what she said.

Re:Or... (2)

WillAdams (45638) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226593)

and all of those ball points would wind up in a land fill.

Glad to see that this supports options which include a fountain pen unit --- I go through roughly a bottle of ink year --- the glass bottle gets recycled and I purchase another one.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226635)

Because these will be composted?

kids will love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226005)

probably as much as they loved the vibrating Harry Potter broomstick

Re: kids will love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226239)

Oooh! Baby! Spell something even more wrong!

Harry Potter is obsessed with wangs! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226455)

Aped from Bash.org:

Purely in the interests of science, I have replaced the word "wand" with "wang" in the first Harry Potter Book
  Let's see the results...

  "Why aren't you supposed to do magic?" asked Harry.
  "Oh, well -- I was at Hogwarts meself but I -- er -- got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wang in half an' everything

  A magic wang... this was what Harry had been really looking forward to.

  "Yes, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon. Harry Potter." It wasn't a question. "You have your mother's eyes. It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wang. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wang for charm work."
  "Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wang. Eleven inches. "

  Harry took the wang. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wang above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls

  "Oh, move over," Hermione snarled. She grabbed Harry's wang, tapped the lock, and whispered, 'Alohomora!"

  The troll couldn't feel Harry hanging there, but even a troll will notice if you stick a long bit of wood up its nose, and Harry's wang had still been in his hand when he'd jumped - it had gone straight up one of the troll's nostrils.

  He bent down and pulled his wang out of the troll's nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy gray glue.

  He ran onto the field as you fell, waved his wang, and you sort of slowed down before you hit the ground. Then he whirled his wang at the dementors. Shot silver stuff at them.

  Ok
  I have found, definitive proof
  that J.K Rowling is a dirty DIRTY woman, making a fool of us all
  "Yes," Harry said, gripping his wang very tightly, and moving into the middle of the deserted classroom. He tried to keep his mind on flying, but something else kept intruding.... Any second now, he might hear his mother again... but he shouldn't think that, or he would hear her again, and he didn't want to... or did he?
  O_______O
  Something silver-white, something enormous, erupted from the end of his wang

  Then, with a sigh, he raised his wang and prodded the silvery substance with its tip.

  'Get - off - me!' Harry gasped. For a few seconds they struggled, Harry pulling at his uncles sausage-like fingers with his left hand, his right maintaining a firm grip on his raised wang.

Not for geeks (3, Interesting)

Doug Otto (2821601) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226101)

From TFA, it's a learning tool for kids.

Re:Not for geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226759)

And what the hell are Nerf guns and Lego then? ;)

I don't think its intended purpose will stop any (non-)self-respecting geek from buying a *hackable* device. ... *any* hackable device, really... ;)

Re:Not for geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44227417)

Someone will get Doom on there. Or Quake. Or Cry... na.

Does not work (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226145)

The main problem with gmarr/\/\/\/\/ grammar checking is that the error is already written if the pen vibrates.

Doctors Orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226153)

Provide one to each doctor that writes presciptions. The savings from medical errors might actually be worth the cost! :)

Livescribe (3, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226211)

I have a livescribe pen and love many of its features. But their software is a bag of cloud crap. Basically in order to use the pen I have to sign in to their cloud stuff. Then they really try to get me to use EverNote (of hacked account fame). Then there is the fact that I need to buy their notebooks. And then on top of all that the tiny screen on the pen basically vanished on a recent firmware upgrade.

All I want to do it make notes and turn them into PDFs. If I want to "cloud" them then I will do that myself.
If this Lernstift pen gets good reviews and they keep it simple then there is a 100% chance that I will be upgrading to their product. Seeing that I love my Livescribe despite its serious flaws I would fall deeply in love with a pen that didn't require special paper, looked nice, and didn't stray from the core functionality of recording my scribbles. Most importantly if it didn't make me log in to some stupid cloud stuff.

Re:Livescribe (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228685)

I have a livescribe pen and love many of its features. But their software is a bag of cloud crap. Basically in order to use the pen I have to sign in to their cloud stuff. Then they really try to get me to use EverNote (of hacked account fame). Then there is the fact that I need to buy their notebooks. And then on top of all that the tiny screen on the pen basically vanished on a recent firmware upgrade.

All I want to do it make notes and turn them into PDFs. If I want to "cloud" them then I will do that myself.

If this Lernstift pen gets good reviews and they keep it simple then there is a 100% chance that I will be upgrading to their product. Seeing that I love my Livescribe despite its serious flaws I would fall deeply in love with a pen that didn't require special paper, looked nice, and didn't stray from the core functionality of recording my scribbles. Most importantly if it didn't make me log in to some stupid cloud stuff.

I, too, use livescribe all the time and it is great except for the issues you point out. That said, you are able to print off your own notebooks, which mitigates one of the complaints. Maybe it is because I'm older, but I find that I can take notes much quicker with pen and paper than with a laptop or tablet (and I do type 60 wpm). That plus the audio recording is fantastic.

The only real complaint that I have with my livescribe is that there isn't a linux client. At work we run Windows so it isn't a problem, but at home, I have to run a copy of windows under vbox to access the pen. The other issues, like evernote are more of a nusiance than a complaint. While I'm happy with my livescribe, I would certainly be interested in the lemstift pen, particularly if it works with a fountain pen tip, which is my writing instrument of choice.

Re:Livescribe (3, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228837)

After further reading, the lemstift pen is nothing like a livescribe. It doesn't store or transmit documents and doesn't appear that it is intended to do anything more than to work on penmanship, spelling and grammar. Too bad, at $145US per pen, there aren't going to be many school kids who can afford such a device. Something at that price point that made up for the shortcomings of livescribe, might catch the attention of business purchasers, however.

Re:Livescribe (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44234863)

Maybe it is because I'm older, but I find that I can take notes much quicker with pen and paper than with a laptop or tablet (and I do type 60 wpm).

No, I don't think it's because you're older. I'm 25 myself, and for me nothing even comes close to pen(cil) and paper for note taking. As a matter of fact, having recently finished five years in university, I've only ever seen a handful of people that were able to take proper lecture notes with an electronic device.

Obviously, 2013 will be .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226235)

the year of Linux on the pen!

Re:Obviously, 2013 will be .. (2)

Doug Otto (2821601) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226377)

At least it'll finally be on the desktop.

I kid, I kid....

Re:Obviously, 2013 will be .. (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228041)

No No.... It will be the year of Linux on the notebook... the SPIRAL BOUND notebook!

Before any knickers get twisted - I use Linux almost exclusively (I do IOS development on a Mac)

Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226247)

If this project didn't have the word Linux attached to it somewhere it would have never have made the front page and even if it had anyone with 4 brain cells would be calling it stupid on its face.

This thing is going to sell about as well as a honey glazed ham in Mecca.

Re: Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226435)

Agreed, and wasnt there a article yesterday about kickstarter projects becoming vaporware but they keep your money? Ya idiots go give them your money and get nothing back great idea

Re: Slashdot (1)

iamhassi (659463) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226463)

You know kickstarter was suppose to change the world, finally The People could fund our own projects. Unfortunately it's run by idiots that only allow their own pet projects to be posted. Where's the revolutionary ideas that kickstarter was suppose to give us? Been on /. for over 15 years and I don't own anything that launched on kickstarter

Re: Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44227221)

That's fine for you, there are other Crowdfunding websites, the BlueTooth gadget for tracking all your keys, phone, whatever I saw was on IndieGoGo, so was the $125 Thermal Imaging camera attachment for your smartphone and a lot of other tech things. I have backed a lot of Kickstarter RPG product from video games to e-Adventure-Modules and miniatures. I haven't seen a tech gidget on KS, but IndieGoGo usually puts them in their weekly "Things we love" email.

WTF? (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226327)

The Lernstift pen incorporates an ARM Cortex processor, a WiFi module, and a motion sensor, and is designed to correct penmanship, spelling, and grammar errors as you write

Let me start of by saying "what the hell?", and move on to pointing out that auto-correct on mobile keyboards is a pain in the ass, and in a pen would only be worse.

There's no way in hell a pen is gonna help with my atrocious penmanship. This sounds like a solution in search of a problem to me.

But, hey, it's vaporware, runs Linux, and is on kickstarter -- which means someone is going "oooh, gotta get me some of that".

Now get off my damned lawn, you kids and your fancy wi-fi pens. You'll put someone's eye out!

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226693)

Um, it's for kids, bro.

Re:WTF? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228025)

That's why he wants "the kids with their fancy wifi pens" off his lawn. ;)

oh , vibrate to communicate errors ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226529)

IYKWIM ... :-P http://i.imgur.com/1Kv5RxB.jpg

Shudder (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226581)

Is it just me or does any sentence with "linux-based" "smart" and "kickstarter" scare the willies out of you too?

Re:Shudder (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226845)

It's just you.

ARM Cortex (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44226757)

The brand "Cortex" doesn't mean much if it doesn't include the model number. a Cortex M-series can't even run Linux because it's just a microcontroller. Linux maybe can run on a Cortex-R, if you trim it down enough. Typically Linux is ran on an Cortex-A series, and given that the prototypes use Gumstix it's almost certain it is a Cortex-A, and not something unusual and exciting like Cortex-R.

So there are still people using pen out there ? (1)

Cybernot (1521299) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226869)

So there are still people using pen out there ?

What penmanship? (1)

Turmoyl (958221) | 1 year,15 days | (#44226919)

I haven't handwritten anything in almost 20 years except for Doctor's interview paperwork, and a couple of essays for a Luddite community college professor. I even take notes on a tablet now. This device seems to be at least one human generation out of usefulness

Re:What penmanship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44227491)

Cool story, brah. Do you also go around telling people how you don't own a TV?

Another thing to keep charged... (1)

jafo (11982) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227129)

I'd love to write you a letter but my pen needs charging.

inertial motion sensing not enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44227209)

They don't say it in their video, but the picture has a smart phone that has a perfect copy of the handwriting in its app. That isn't going to happen with inertial sensors - they just don't accurately measure position... I bet they can try to recognize letters, etc. but the real value of a smart pen, in my opinion, would be to capture the pen strokes - I'm sure that's what their backers are hoping for. The whole project seems slightly misleading to me.

Might actually be good (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227767)

If it comes with a spell checker and undo option, I am all in.

Wow, cool. (1)

Jawnn (445279) | 1 year,15 days | (#44227905)

A solid state, gyroscopically controlled, wireless input tool. Why, if we'd had that technology back in the day, we'd still be making and selling buggy whips, I tell you.

Achtung!!!! (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228035)

This pen corrects grammar errors and comes from Germany, for sure it has been designed by a grammar nazi!!!

QQQ (1)

ne0n (884282) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228171)

I recall these being used with disastrous results by Rita Skeeter. Hope the autocorrect is better than the abomination installed in every iPhone since the beginning.

neat trick (1)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228353)

The Gumsticks boards themselves are $100+; offering a whole pen based on it for $149 seems rather ambitious.

Kickstarter Link (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228505)

Where the f is the link to kickstarter? How hard would have been to include that in the summary? these type of amateur write ups are annoying as hell

Re:Kickstarter Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44228903)

They already dropped the project.

They seen a bunch of negative feedback on Slashdot about the product and decided it was just a waste of time. If you're lucky you can find a prototype model in a dumpster somewhere. Happy diving.

Re:Kickstarter Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44231453)

if your RTFA the kickstarter does not start until the 10th (tomorrow)
but without the digitialisation option from the word go this is a non starter.

c0m (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44228791)

empire in de3line, both believe

115 vs 130 Euros (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | 1 year,15 days | (#44228947)

So I can save ~20 and take a (1 in 3, 1 in 4?) chance this will never actually ship - or ship so late somebody else will have done it better? You're going to have to give me better odds than that.

DeviceGuru (1)

Ratan Gharami (2979397) | 1 year,14 days | (#44242851)

I haven't handwritten anything in almost 20 years except for Doctor's interview paperwork, and a couple of essays for a Luddite community college professor. I even take notes on a tablet now. This device seems to be at least one human generation out of usefulnesshttp://computersbds.blogspot.com/ [slashdot.org] ">please visit it
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