Iogear unveiled today a new device for transferring longhand notes and drawings from paper to a computer. This product is called the Digital Scribe (GPEN100C) and it should be available now for around $100.
The Iogear Digital Scribe is an electronic pen which uses standard ink and also transmits what you write on paper to a PC so it can be converted to digital text for editing and storage. The pen has an infrared sensor to capture hand movements and an ultrasonic transmitter in it which sends signals to an electronic receiver. This receiver, connected to a Windows machine through a USB cable, sends what you’ve written to OCR software for digital conversion.
One interesting note by Iogear is that the Digital Scribe lets Microsoft Messenger users write during IM sessions. That’s pretty cool if for some reason you want to pretend you are writing instant letters to your buddy. It will be interesting to see what degree of success the Digital Scribe’s OCR software has at translating bad handwriting though.