Moleskine, for the uninitiated, makes notebooks and stationery popular with artists, travelers and people who write poetry between sips of chai latte in a delicate café in Kreuzberg. These are small, robust things that have resisted the encroachment of high technology but now, thanks to PEN + ELLIPSE, you can instantly turn your daydreams into digital files.
The PEN + ELLIPSE is a surprisingly compact pen that uses special paper notebooks and a built-in sensor to record what you draw and send it automatically to a phone or tablet. In addition, the pen can save your writings and then send them to your phone later, ensuring you do not miss anything even if your devices are packaged.
This is a smart solution – and at $ 179, an expensive solution. I have used a number of smart pens over the years and this one is surprisingly compact and usable. I particularly like the offline mode which, provided you turn on the pen, allows you to record without having your phone open next to your laptop. However, if you have opened your phone, it is quite magical to see your writing appear on the screen while you scribble.
Unlike its nearest competitor, LiveScribe, the PEN + ELLIPSE does not record audio while you are writing, which makes it a little less interesting for note-taking. However, the many features associated with stylus and application combination, including the ability to change colors and line styles as you draw, make this solution a little more interesting for artists.
While nothing beats a Madeline, a Moleskine and a Blackwing Palomino on the banks of the Seine, this smart and compact digital pen solution is the best solution to stay completely analog.