6 April 2016 • Two:28pm
I f you’re tired of typing up handwritten notes from a meeting or attempting to digitise your doodled ideas, luxury diary maker Moleskine wants to help you bridge the gap.
The Italian company has created the Brainy Writing Set, a notebook-pen-app combo which converts your handwritten notes and doodles into digital text for editing and sharing. The app for iOS is under Moleskine Notes. while Android users are asked to use Neo Notes for now until the official app is released.
It isn’t the very first time the heritage brand has dabbled with the digital side – in 2014 it collaborated with Adobe to swiftly sync hand-drawn pictures with Photoshop, and has worked with Evernote and Livescribe in the past – a smartpen designed to convert your handwriting into text.
Physical doodles and handwriting shows up onscreen
T he notebook, named the Paper Tablet, contains 173 rounded pages which protrude beyond the cover to create the impression you’re holding a tablet, or at least something other than a book in the traditional sense. Each of these pages is covered in a series of dots, which coverts your penstrokes into pixels on the digital page of the app’s notebook.
The Pen+ contains a ballpoint nib and hidden infrared camera, and needs to be charged for around half an hour with the included cable before using. It syncs with the app on your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and can be held as you would an ordinary pen to ensure the camera has the best view of the page in front of it.
Examples of our handwriting as it emerges on the app
O nce you’ve handwritten a sentence, tapping Transcribe on the app’s drop-down menu converts it into digital text for copying and pasting. How successful the translation is depends largely on the legibility of your handwriting.
I tend to write clearly but with strange letter-forming habits picked up over the years, meaning the recognition was thrown slightly by my using large curved letter Ts, but was generally accurate.
My colleague James’ writing, which is difficult to read at the best of times, was totally mistranslated. Two instances of writing “Hello, I am testing the handwriting on this” turned into “Hello, tom thing the hemhinty on this” and “Hello, I am biting the hamhintg on this”, despite his efforts to write the 2nd example more coherently.
Weirdly, once I wrote “Can you translate this?” and an arrow to the offending sentence, it adjusted its translation to “Hello [on thy thumb on this’ and ‘Hello I am testing the handuebyonths this intake” I commenced putting together some ideas for “the most regrettable mistakes ever made in tech” – Western Union turning down the patents for the telephone, Yahoo not buying Google etc. That could be one.