Scott Hanselman

XPaper - Digital Paper and the Logitech io2 Pen

May 24, 2006 Comment on this post [2] Posted in Coding4Fun
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XpaperscreenieI've blogged before about my love for the Logitech io2 pen and there's an article on their SDK on Coding4Fun.

The Logitech Software is slick and their SDK is fantastic, but I've always thought something was missing. Writing on blank paper, taking notes and such is neat, but what if...

Recently we sold our Condo and Mike, my very cool Real Estate agent, used his Tablet PC for all the paperwork. He showed up at the condo with no actual paper, just a Toshiba Tablet and a bunch of TIFs. All of us, buyer and seller, did all the work via email and tablet. (Mike's very progressive.)

How does this relate to the io2 pen?

XpaperThere's a company called Talario that has a product called XPaper. For the technical, here's how it works:

  • You want a form filled out, signed, etc, with ink. You also want to send PDFs around and archive the papers digitally without scanning.
  • You get some Anoto-enabled paper from Talario. This paper is uniquely numbered like a guid or ip address. Each page is unique to the stack. The paper includes the Anoto dot pattern that the io2 pen can see.
  • You print from any program to the "XPaper printer" on your PC. This is a 'fake printer' that will ask you via a dialog box what number your stack of paper started with. Then it just routes to your physical printer driver while saving a digital copy on the computer for later.
  • You get a print out on this special paper of your document.
  • You write on it with the io2 pen, whatever. Mike could have brought the pen and the paper to the meeting.
  • Later he docks the pen with his computer and the digital ink from his pen is reunited with the digital copy saved earlier and turned into a PDF that includes both the original document and the digital ink lined up perfectly.

You print, ink, then dock and you get digital ink versions of your printouts. It works very well and is written entirely in .NET.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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May 24, 2006 11:55
Darn interesting product, but I was just thinking. Imagine yourself in this meeting where you're closing on an important deal. The other guy's attorney hands you the contract to sign and an io2 pen along with it. Do you use it to sign you name? Can you imagine if one day they can make those pens look just as an ordinary pen?
May 26, 2006 17:30
Talario is not the only game in town.

Here is a shameless plug for the company I work for: .

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.