Notepad digitally records written text as Cross links up with IBM

Notepad digitally records written text as Cross links up with IBM
Richard Ball A notepad that digitally records handwritten text has been unveiled by US pen manufacturer Cross. The pad is being aimed at business users who do not want to use a laptop, particularly during meetings. Cross has teamed up with IBM to produce the CrossPad device. It uses a special adapted pen which writes on any A4 sized pad with up to 50 sheets. This is the maximum thickness the RF portion of the pen can transmit through. The sensors underneath then use the data to record the pen’s contact with the pad. An internal 1Mbit flash memory stores up to 50 pages of single spaced text or 100 pages of loose notes and sketches. These are downloaded to a PC via a standard serial port. Software, developed by IBM at its T.J. Watson research lab, allows blocks of text to be recognised. The text and images can be cut and pasted into any word processor package. Battery life of the CrossPad is said to be measured in months. The company plans to make the CrossPad available outside of North America in the autumn. The US list price is $399.


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