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Title: What is a digital pen? Introduction 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 applications. 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. Benefits 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 image. Disadvantages - the cost of digital paper might could be prohibitive for large volume use. Weblinks http://www.taglearning.com http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm?countryid=18&languageid=1 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 way. Graphics Tablets http://www.my-volito.com/volito/intro.asp?lang=en 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. http://www.fionahawthorne.com/index.html 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: http://www.ictadvice.org.uk/index.php?section=te&cat=001003&rid=437&pagenu m=1&NextStart=1 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: http://www.simonfaithfull.org/indexA.html Summary 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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