Digital pen

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Digital pen using Anoto-Technology

A digital pen or smart pen, is an input device which captures the handwriting or brush strokes of a user and converts handwritten analog information created using "pen and paper" into digital data, enabling the data to be utilized in various applications. This type of pen is usually used in conjunction with a digital notebook, although the data can also be used for different applications or simply as a graphic.

A digital pen is generally larger and has more features than an active pen.Digital pens typically contain internal electronics and have features such as touch sensitivity, input buttons, memory for storing handwriting data and transmission capabilities.[1]


Smart Pen writes on ordinary paper or other surface, like a regular pen

As an input device, captures the handwriting data, that once digitized, can be uploaded to a computer and displayed on its monitor. The data can then be interpreted by handwriting software (OCR) to allow the digital pen to act as a text entry interface and be used in different applications or just as graphics.

Some pens are equipped with a digital recording device that allows to use them as intelligent Dictaphone. They can be used, for example for students to record the voice of the master while taking notes. Then you may hear a sound segment associated with a digital notebook area, playing area with the tip of the pen.

Technology groups[edit]


Accelerometer-based digital pens contain components that detect movement of the pen and contact with the writing surface.
Interior view of a Wacom tablet


Active pens, such as N-trig's DuoSense Pen™, include electronic components whose signals are picked up by a mobile device's built-in digitizer and transmitted to its controller, providing data on pen location, pressure, button presses and other functionality.


Position-based digital pens use a facility to detect the location of the tip during writing. Some models can be found on graphics tablets made popular by Wacom, and on tablet computers using Wacom's Penabled™ technology.


Camera-based pens use special digital paper to detect where the stylus contacts the writing surface, such as those using Anoto technology.

Trackball pen[edit]

Trackball pens use a sensor that is located on the pen to detect the motion of the trackball.

Products List[edit]

Using a Smart pen as it was a a digitizing tablet
Manufacturer Product Uses Anoto pattern Remarks
PolyVision Eno y
Canon IRISNotes n Smart Pen from Canon
Apple Apple Pencil n a digital pen for Ipad Pro
Livescribe Livescribe y
Logitech Digital Pen y
Luidia Smartpen2 n
Maxell Penit y
Nokia Digital Pen SU-1B y
IOGear GPen300 n
Staedtler Digital Pen n
Oxford Papershow Trackball pen y The technology involves a USB key to synchronise with the digital pen enabling instant connectivity between pen and PC.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shelly, Gary B.; Misty E. Vermaat (2009). Discovering Computers: Fundamentals. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-495-80638-7. Retrieved 3 November 2009.