There is a lot of buzz currently about the newest digital pen technology available on the market but, how does this innovative technology really work? The answer is surprisingly easy. With digital pen technology you simply write on a specially designed paper form using a special ballpoint pen and the information you have written appears in your back office IT systems automatically. The amazing thing is that this can be achieved in near real time! This is achieved via a combination of a specialised ball point pen, with a built in camera, memory and communication system, and by writing on to specialist paper with a proprietary dot pattern finish, which is almost invisible to the human eye.
This special paper can be printed on most colour laser printers. The pen reads the unique dot pattern as you write, it translates the information into data and transmits it to a server or PC (via a USB Port, Bluetooth, phone, etc). Handwritten notes, check lists, sketches, signatures, etc are converted to data and incorporated into back office systems, quickly and easily. The manual recording of data onto paper and then the subsequent manual entry of that data into an information system is no longer necessary. Saving time and money. There are many advantages of such approaches, digital pens are easy to use, it requires virtually no training, if you can fill in a form, you can use this system. Digital Pen versions of your current forms can be created easily and so you do not have to dispense with you current formats. Also original forms can still be retained, if required, for example by customer or the client if required for legislative reasons.
The technology comes into its own when the operator needs to collect a reasonable amount of data and get it back on to the back office systems quickly and efficiently. Alternatively when the operator is working remotely from the base station systems but need to report activities or actions to this system such as in a warehouse environment. The pen can be used with large forms or very small postage stamp sized asset registration labels.
Digital pens work well in situations where it is awkward to hold and manipulate a tablet or laptop, or situations where the user has to interact with another person, e.g. a doctor interviewing a patient and writing prescriptions, or in a technical environment such as the writing of inspection and servicing reports, service contracts, receipts, performance recording, etc. They can be used by district nurses in the field enabling them to spend more time seeing patients and less time typing up their notes in the office.