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Author Topic: NoteOn smartpen  (Read 3295 times)
profaldo
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« on: September 16, 2014, 01:21:44 PM »

This guy is working on making his own smartpen.
Dunno if it will have the same features and accuracy as Wacom, but surely this is something different.
It really is impressive and does'nt come off like a DIY project - it looks too professional.

Description on the website:
Current smartpens are not very convenient to use. Most are quite bulky, and all require either special paper or a base station that clips on to the page. NoteOn aims to be a better smartpen; one that is slim, wireless, and self-contained. The pen uses inertial measurement to track its movement, allowing it to be used with any notebook, post-it note, or napkin. Notes and sketches can be sent to a mobile device over Bluetooth, and from there to a cloud service like Evernote or Google Drive.

Here is the link:
http://hackaday.io/project/2678
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Aerendraca
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 01:37:13 PM »

That's really interesting. I would hazard a guess that the builder is not planning on implementing pressure sensitivity on the prototype based on the comment "A ball-point ink cartridge from a disposable pen was cut to size and inserted into a delrin sleeve. (Delrin was chosen for its small coefficient of friction.) When the pen is pressed to a page, the sleeve slides a small distance and actuates a tactile switch." However, this appears to be the start of a project that has the potential to evolve quickly. I shall be keeping a close eye on this. Nice find!
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profaldo
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 08:32:57 PM »

Its really amazing that this is made mostly using diy electronics.
There must be a way to build in pressure sensitivity as well. If someone is well versed with microelectronics then he/she could give this a shot.
The best feature has to be the independence to sketch wherever one wants to. I really hope this guy succeeds in his build.
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profaldo
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 10:24:24 AM »

It just clicked me, that a similar pen could actually be made perhaps with lesser electronics. Just for discussion purposes - What if one uses three small cameras placed near the tip of the pen to capture an image of what is drawn / written by the pen. That way, there would be no need for pressure sensitivity since the image would be directly transferred as it.

Some problems that I foresee with something like this:
1. The pen might not capture the last bit of information before the pen is lifted - the image directly under the nib of the pen.
2. How does the pen figure out which is the top side and bottom side.
3. How would it decide when to start and stop a recording and when has the individual moved to a new / different page.
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Aerendraca
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 01:47:48 PM »

This could work I guess but I imagine that detecting effective pressure differences would rely on very sensitive optics since the distance of travel on a hard press down would be tiny. The other thing that rings out to me is that condensing electronics for 3 cameras alone would required quite a bit of PCB space without any of the communication hardware or battery. Also, I would imagine that the power consumed by the cameras would be relatively hefty and the tiny lenses to provide super macro would be expensive.

You might be able to do something similar with the optics in a laser mouse if you applied some tracking somehow, but even this would be bulky I would think. Interesting idea though.
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profaldo
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 02:26:35 PM »

Could'nt the pressure part be skipped completely? I mean if the cameras are scanning the lines drawn as is, then it would record the output as it - so if you applied pressure the lines would be darker and the cameras would record dark lines.

I did see a post somewhere where a guy did this with a laser mouse as you are suggesting. It was not the prettiest of designs though Cheesy

However, an interesting bit of information - the current optical mouse that we use has a small camera fitted in it which can be hacked and used as a low end scanner. That's where I got this idea from of using small cameras to scan the output. If a normal optical mouse can run for a couple of months at least using one AA battery, then if you use the same(ish?) technology and use three cameras instead then it might last you for 3 weeks or so.

These are all thoughts from figments of my imagination. I really do not have any knowledge in microcontrollers or computer hardware to actually figure out if this is a feasible / viable idea.

Here is another idea:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zx5VFm6T8M
http://www.instructables.com/id/Mouse-Pen/
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Facebook-Like-Freedom-of-Speech-Aaron-Panner-Sheriff-Roberts,news-17042.html

And another idea, a bit limited in application though:
https://www.shopstarter.com/s/gstick-pen-mouse/

Option 3:
http://weblogg-ed.com/2007/the-wii-as-99-smartboard/
This is for large scale applications. Wondering if this could be scaled down?

By the way, in my reply, I was referring to something like this:
http://forums.furtopia.org/tech-talk/turning-an-optical-mouse-into-an-optical-pen!-3/
All the media has been taken off that link, but that is the concept that I saw some place online. The guy sawed off a mouse, changed the mirror and fixed the optical mouse into a pen / plastic pipe.
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Aerendraca
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 10:44:38 AM »

Oh, did you mean the cameras were actually recording an 'actual' pens ink strokes? I think I misunderstood and was thinking all Cintiq about what was being proposed. Technology is definitely getting better (and smaller) these days so perhaps this sort of thing is possible, but it's a little outside of my scope and abilities (currently).

Perhaps once I've cleared a backlog of pending projects (Serenitiq2 included) I might have a look into something like this - more for a bit of fun than anything serious.
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