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Title What is a digital pen Introduction A digital pen is a battery .rtf


									Title: What is a digital pen?


A digital pen is a battery-operated writing instrument that allows the user to digitally
capture a handwritten note or drawing. Digital pens are slightly larger than a normal
ball-point pen and can be used as such on normal paper, but require special digital
paper to capture what has been drawn or written.

Many digital pens come with handwriting recognition software that allows the user to
import their handwritten notes into typed text. Digital pens usually connect to the
computer via a docking device connected to a USB port.

When the user wants to upload saved notes or drawings the pen, is docked in its USB
cradle. The cradle automatically senses the pen's presence, opens the accompanying
software application on the PC, and transfers the saved files to a specified folder. Most
pens save the handwritten data as an image file (GIF or JPG) although some pens use
a proprietary file format. GIF and JPG images can be easily imported in to other
Some of the newer high-end digital pens are wireless, taking advantage of Blootooth
technology. These pens do not require a docking station, but instead send the captured
notes or drawings directly the the user's PC or mobile phone.

Using a digital pen in art and design
For art and design the pen could be described as a portable electronic sketchbook that
can be used in any location indoors and out for making sketches and annotating them.
Digital pens have a natural feel and are useful input devices particularly for developing
freehand illustration or design ideas that can be developed further once the
image/images are downloaded to the computer.
Depending on the make a digital pen can store between 40 and 100 A5 pages.
Insert sample Images or make links to them.
box 4 test.gif - design sheet produced produced with a logitech digital pen,
face.gif, face edited in ipen programme.gif - portrait sample using a logitech
digital pen.

 Quick and easy way for teachers and pupils to capture hand written notes digitally
without having retype them.
 Ideal for use on field trips to capture notes and drawings for inclusion in presentations
and project work back in the classroom.
 Bluetooth wireless connectivity on some models for easy transfer of notes.

Advantages - digital pens have are similar to working with ordinary pens and pencils
and it is easy to record a sequence of images by continuing to draw over the same

Disadvantages - the cost of digital paper might could be prohibitive for large volume


You might also look at:

Graphics Tablets
A graphics tablet is a hardware device that is highly accurate and enables an artist to
draw or sketch easier then they would be able to do with a computer mouse.
Graphics tablets have been available for some time but are still underused in art and
design departments. Unlike digital pens a graphics tablet has to be connected to a
computer but the stylus is used like a pencil and enables the user to work in a freehand
Graphics Tablets

Artist links:

Fiona Hawthorne is a freelance artist/illustrator who works mainly on a computer to
create lively line-and-wash style images often done in live situations.

Handheld computers or Personal Digital Assistants

A handheld computer is a small, mobile device that provides computing and information
storage and retrieval, which can be easily carried and used. Often such devices are
referred to as personal digital assistants or PDAs.
Many handheld computers on the market are tablet designs and are operated via a
stylus and touch screen and tend to be used to manage personal information such as
lists or appointments. Many PDA’s also come equiped with a digital camera.
More PDAs offer applications such as wordprocessing and spreadsheets, e-mail and
can capture images and video. PDAs can be syncronised to desktop computers
through a docking station or files can be transferred via an infra red signal. The new
generation of mobile phones is beginning to offer some of the features of PDAs.
Using PDA’s in Art and Design
In Art and Design PDA’s can be used like an electronic sketchbook to draw and make
notes in different locations. One of the main advantages of PDA’s is the ability to
transfer information between handsets. For example in an art gallery pupils can share
notes or ideas on a piece of artwork this information could then be collated for
discussion in a artroom context.
Further information on can be found at:

Artist Links
Simon Faithfull is an artist who works in a variety of ways. Most of his work would fall
under the broad category of 'installation'. Installation can be thought of as 'art that
surrounds you'. Installation work occupies the same space as the spectator, but it is not
a single piece, like a sculpture. Installation can include: objects arranged in a room,
video monitors, site-specific work made for a particular location, or interventions in the
outdoor environment. Simon has been involved in a number of projects using PDAS you
can his work on his website at:


A digital pen is a battery-operated writing instrument that allows the user to digitally
capture a handwritten note or drawing.

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