digital-pens The digital pens made by Livescribe and Adapx look like regular ballpoint pens but are very smart. They capture everything you write in ink, including handwritten notes and sketches made on paper, and this data can be uploaded on to the computer via USB.

The only drawback with such solutions, as I noted in my earlier review of Digital Pen for OneNote, is that they require special dot paper for the jotted text to be properly captured and recognized. But then there’s some good news coming from DEMO.

Adapx has launched a new digital pen at DEMOfall 08 that looks much like its elder cousin but with some significant differences – the new pen works with Microsoft Office Excel forms and can even capture data written on ordinary paper thus bringing down that ‘recurring cost’ barrier.

The idea is that you create a form / spreadsheet in Excel, mark the cells that need to be filled and print that sheet. People can fill those forms using the digital pen and then you can simply connect it to your computer and all the records will be transferred into Excel as separate sheets.

HR folks would love this as it make data collection so easy. And like OneNote or EverNote, Adapx desktop also includes optical character recognition so your handwritten notes will be automatically converted into digital text at the time of transfer.

Unlike LiveScribe Pulse smartpen, Capturx pen can’t do audio recordings yet so the former may be a more suitable choice if you are looking to carry a digital pen for your classroom lectures. See this commercial: