Patent Monkey: The Wireless Printer Pen

This week, Ericsson received a wireless printer-pen patent that can transfer hand writing to electronic text to send emails and receives content and can print it to special paper taking into account the position of the pen on the paper.

With all this typing, is there still room for writing instrument innovation? After a few seconds of thinking, our answer is yes.

The Printer Pen
Ericsson’s new patent highlights the ability to write an email out on paper, and then transfer it to electronic text to send it. Moreover, the invention envisions also having a printing capability that relies on the position of the pen and the image to be output. This concept builds on a lot of prior inventions (list of related technologies).

The Digital Recording Pen
Logitech io2 is a pen and data capture device that Mi-Corporation has designed data capture software for. The ability to search for handwritten stuff is cool. People write stuff, even folks with BlackBerries, using a pen and making notes digital is a nice add. Losing a pen that costs $150, not so good.

The Digitally Controlled Ink Pen
Silverbrook Research has developed a number of ink technologies including a recently issued one that allows for electronic control of the pen’s writing abilities, such as turning on or off the ink when not in use or a different design to the path. Silverbrook has done quite a bit of work in the multi-ink, printer-style pen field worth flipping through as the idea of fusing inks in a pen like a printer is the makings for the ultimate 4-ink click pen. (List of Silverbrook Pen Patents)

The Digital Whiteboard

Mimio cracked this one about 10 years ago, but the market acceptance still is quite shallow (List of Mimio patents). Turning a white board into a digital display device plain makes sense if you do any of that office presentation and collaboration sort of stuff. Capturing notes from a meeting is a pain, and the reality is most notes from meetings are for archive and not for much else. Even cooler is what the folks at MIT did with this kind of technology:

While waiting for convergence of the pen with a cell phone and a printer, nothing will easily replace my Sharpie.