CES, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is an internationally renowned electronics and technology expo, attracting major companies and industry professionals worldwide. The annual show is held each January in Las Vegas. Not open to the public, the show typically launches and demo’s products prior to their commercial release.
Today we will take a look at a few of the more interesting Digital Writing announcements from last week’s show.
First up is the Boogie Board writing slate (eWriter) from Kent Displays. How about a device that ships for $30 USD and under! These guys are working in the educational and consumer market with products designed to replace scratch paper around the house and to help kids learn how to draw and write without wasting paper. Kent have an interesting take on all this “Writing is not dead. It is being redefined”.
Stabilo the German super brand in writing products has entered the market with a device that does not require patterned paper to decipher coordinate position of the device. “We are proud to present our first digital pens at CES,” Stabilo stated at the launch event. “Our biggest innovation understands your handwriting without any special paper or further accessories other than your smartphone or tablet.”
And at an attractive price point (around 100 Euro) this is sure to give Livescribe (who also released a pretty cool looking upgrade to their staple product at CES) some competition on the plain paper front.
This new release Livescribe product is available now for around $150.00 USD. Newly appointed Bryan Rodrigues as Vice President of Global Marketing will find the smart pen market (at least at the consumer level) getting a little more crowded (and price competitive) than previous years. Not that Bryan is without credentials; prior to the Anoto acquisition of Livescribe late last year “he (Rodrigues) was core to Livescribe’s success in penetrating consumer markets with its smartpen technology, and will be a strong member of Anoto’s leadership as we expand our portfolio of multi-surface precision writing and drawing solutions.” according to Anoto CEO Stein Revelsby
Finally – while tablets are hardly new news in the innovative surface writing space, Toshiba profiled a product at CES this year which is attempting the plain paper feeling in a tech case – the Dynapad.
The Dynapad seems to have been pretty well received in the 2 in 1 / Windows market. It is a 12 inch, Windows powered 2-in-1 tablet built small enough to be a practical note taking alternative. At just under 7mm thick (or thin!) while not paper it is getting pretty close. Toshiba is claiming is the thinnest and lightest in the world – weighing 1.28 pounds, even if it is not the World’s lightest it is certainly a worthy competitor to a conventional paper notebook.
The Dynapad is a precision package for note taking (using natural input) and sketching, and is compatible with Toshiba’s Active Electrostatics TruPen.
Of course from a enterprise level data capture angle, these products hardly ruffle the LP2 / ALF ecosystem features! However the consumer pull through (and R&D / OEM interest) in digital input via plain paper or surfaces, gives the use of these data capture techniques within enterprise an added momentum.