The Killer Device of JavaOne 2008

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  1. The Killer Device of JavaOne 2008 (12 messages)

    JavaOne has always been known for using the technology - every attendee has a badge that runs Java, for example, for very simple data retrieval. (At least, that's what I've heard.) This year, the killer device looks like the LiveScribe pen, easily, with lines this morning that stretched out almost into the street to buy one. The LiveScribe is a pen that records what you write in special notebooks (which are provided with the pen, and for which you can print your own pages.) You then transfer the written material to your desktop with a custom application. You can also record audio while you write, so you can get both the audio and the written text, synchronized; the text recognition is excellent, even translating my horrible handwriting into the correct written English. It's a very nice pen, very heavy but well-balanced. It comes with nibs for writing (obviously, as it is a pen) and with a nib that doesn't write (so you could use the applications without scribbling on a page.) I haven't had a chance to play with the custom development kit, but I have ideas, of course. What I'd like to ask is: what ideas do you have? The enterprise is no longer made of just a desktop machine, a server machine, and a laptop, all connected by the web; devices like this can serve as enterprise devices, too. What can you think of that you'd like to see things like this be able to do?

    Threaded Messages (12)

  2. Best demo is JavaOne 2008[ Go to top ]

    The pen blow me, and all my collegues, away. I just managed to keep myself from buying it. The special price was only just 135 dollar (if I remebered correctly). There are a few things I would love to have/make for the pen, mostly just little games to pass the time: - Sudoku - Simon Says - MP3 player (draw the controls and listen to your songs)
  3. SDK[ Go to top ]

    I see SDK will be available in 2nd half of the year. Was alpha/beta sdk made available at the conference? To LiveScribe, I placed and order and looks like your mails are sent to bulk mail on yahoo (something u might want to address).
  4. SDK[ Go to top ]

    I was able to download the SDK from here: http://livescribe.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/LDApp.woa/wa/DeveloperToolsPage. If you register as a JavaOne attendee, it allows you to download the sdk.
  5. Mac[ Go to top ]

    Need a Mac version, they say one is coming.
  6. Nah, it's a gimmick[ Go to top ]

    It looks cool at first sight, I was thinking of virtual desktop sharing, whiteboards we can record etc. and then when you look into it it only works on their special paper and it's not new. There were similar but not as full featured pens that came out a few years ago. I think the paper was invented even longer ago, it's a pattern rather like cross between a bar-code and a Penrose tile. It's works because the position of the dots are unique in any position and never repeat, for this reason the pen can work out exactly where it is and no doubt what page it's on. The disadvantage to the user is that is will probably only work on their [probably] rather expensive paper. Technically it would cost peanuts to print yourself with any reasonable printer. If it comes with a low level SDK allowing the user access to the dot positions and therefore perhaps allow "user printed" paper then it'll be a fun toy, somehow I suspect not. Add to that the fact that it only works on Windoze and it's easy to see it's designed for the lower end of the market :-) I love gadgets but this isn't going to be one you'll find in my pocket. -John-
  7. Re: Nah, it's a gimmick[ Go to top ]

    I should add that when I saw it, I thought it might be using the accelerometers Apple use in their iPhone, with enough of them, in theory, you should be able to work out the position of the pen tip even if it leaves the paper but I guess that's some way off for now. Anyone know an algorithm for printing the paper they use, I suspect the dots are too fine to photocopy but a modern printer should manage it. -John-
  8. Yes, you CAN print the paper[ Go to top ]

    I heard that the company will be making PDFs of the paper available so that you can print it. Nonetheless, it's shocking that the UI wasn't written in Java so that the pen could be used by any user. Otherwise, it would be tempting. I could see great value for a student. The UI seems to do some OCR as it can find text. I wonder if it can do full OCR. That would also be quite useful.
  9. Re: Nah, it's a gimmick[ Go to top ]

    The paper has been out for at least 8 years. The dot pattern is unique enough, and large enough, that it provides a coordinate system, as I recall, roughly about the size of the continental US, when realized at the resolution used on a standard piece of paper. The company that owns the dot technology basically gives out "real estate" in the coordinate system to licensees with which they can do with what they will. The actual paper being sold by the company can be a single coordinate space, or each page could be different. Hard to say. For many applications, it's unimportant, as they only need relative coordinates. It's nice to see the pen coming down in size. A year or two ago there was a device called the "Fly Computer" or something like that using the exact same technology, but aimed at the teen market. To me, the best application I can come up with, particularly today, is a crossover application of using the Pen to fill out paper forms, and then simply loading the form from the pen. The market is basically to older folks unfamiliar, or simply uncomfortable, with technology. They can use the Pen to fill out questionnaires, medical surveys, etc. using something they're familiar with (i.e. Pen and paper), while the organization collecting the data get the efficiencies of automation. It's a bit of a fringe market, however, especially today. But imaging have, say, business cards with the pattern. You could make simple "notes" (like phone numbers, etc.) from contact in the field on the back of these small pieces of paper, and later load the data up in to a Contact Management System. Meanwhile, you're just carrying around a pen. If the company is allowing folks to print paper (and modern printers can print the pattern just fine), that's a great sign for ISVs being able to create interesting applications. Just lay out pre-printed forms on top of the coordinate space.
  10. Re: Nah, it's a gimmick[ Go to top ]

    The disadvantage to the user is that is will probably only work on their [probably] rather expensive paper.
    Their salespeople told several dozen people that they would soon make it possible to print your own paper with the caveat that you'd need a laser printer.
    If it comes with a low level SDK allowing the user access to the dot positions and therefore perhaps allow "user printed" paper then it'll be a fun toy, somehow I suspect not.
    Their salespeople and website suggest that it will. It appears that their model includes allowing developers to sell their programs through them.
  11. Logitech Digital Pen[ Go to top ]

    Logitech had a Digital Pen that wrote on special paper also. It always seemed fascinating and I was thiniking about buying one, but they are now selling that product to Destiny Wireless plc, based in the U.K. Here is a link for information. http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/67/3045 Has anybody used the Logitech pen? How does it compare?
  12. The company is called Anoto[ Go to top ]

    As I work at the company that invented the pen and the paper, I had to make a comment. The company is called Anoto (www.anoto.com), and most of your comments above are true. Each paper has a unique pattern, and the total size of this pattern is the size of Europe and Asia together. But you can also reuse areas, which is usually the case for applications like notebooks. I don't know exactly how it works for Livescribe, but there are applications where you can print out your own paper with the pattern on. But have a look a our website, where you will find more about the technology. Cheers, Per
  13. Re: The company is called Anoto[ Go to top ]

    Thanks Per, I looked into your company when I saw the first pen announce for pharmaceutical use I think it was. Does Anoto actually hold the patent on the concept behind the paper or just the implementation. I thought it was very similar to Penrose tiles which are of course infinite in size. I just assumes the resolution of the dots limited the practical size in this instance to Europe+Asia as your web site says, pretty clever anyway. Regards, -John-