Write on Any Surface with This Smart Pen
By Sonia Weiser
OTM Technologies, Kickstarter
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea but no paper in sight? Phree, a fully backed Kickstarter campaign from OTM Technologies, is a pen without ink that can write on any surface (like your pillow), allowing you to take notes on the fly, add comments to digital documents, and even send text messages in your own handwriting. Bluetooth technology connects Phree to your phone, television, computer, or tablet, and works with a number of programs and apps including Microsoft Office, Adobe Illustrator, Evernote, Google handwriting keyboard, and Acrobat.
Phree relies on the patented Optical Translation Measurement (OTM) technology to precisely track your hand motions while you write and between strokes. The tip of the “pen” holds an optical sensor for “real-time on-screen digital ink rendering,” ensuring that the writing appears almost immediately. And when you’re looking at a screen, a cursor appears so you know where you’re writing.
Phree also works as a Bluetooth enabled headset and computer mouse, and has a small touch screen display window to show notifications and for switching functions. You can even connect multiple Phrees to the same device through the operating system, letting an entire team collaborate on a single surface.
It should be noted that Phree doesn't double as a stylus, and while lefties can use it, they will not be able to see the screen while writing.
Right now, pledges above $148 get you a Phree, and those above $169 include a specially designed case that transforms into a smartphone stand.