The Pen is Mightier than the Stylus

by Jamie McAfee

With information-on-the-go a high priority for professionals, we compiled a group of pens designed to scan information from consumer products to paper documents. All hold large amounts of data to be downloaded onto laptops, PCs and PDAs. As portable storage devices, they take up less space than a wallet and scan different fonts in up to 26 languages. For the traveling business executive, these products are ideal for quickly transferring important documents to digital formats with the click of a pen.

A variation on OCR pens, the Convergence captures Web addresses by scanning any barcode format on consumer products. The pen also recognizes the Digital Convergence Cues included in advertising and editorial portions of print and electronic media. Convergence stores up to 300 Web addresses in its 4K memory. Data is transferred to PCs through the OptoLink Coupler connected to a serial port or USB. Pen memory is cleared after each upload.

Cross Pen Computing Group

Siemens PocketReader is another wireless OCR device that scans text at 400dpi. It stores 40,000 characters in ASCII format equaling approximately 20 pages in its 556K memory. Text is readable by the PocketReader at eight to 16 points and can be transferred to applications such as spreadsheets and e-mail. The PocketReader comes with software that provides editing tools and recognizes five languages.P>Siemens

Via computer, the IRISPen scans text and tables with 300dpi resolution. The pen connects directly to any computer through a serial port or USB. Recognized font sizes range from six to 22 points and the IRIS reads 26 languages including Greek. One programmable button initiates two separate functions triggered by a single or double click. An alarm notifies when the IRIS completes text recognition and scanning. The pen includes a button for contrast adjustment of a document. For additional functionality, the IRISPen is available in Translator or Executive.

I.R.I.S. Group

QuickLink Pen
This pen-shaped device scans text at 400dpi and reads all typefaces (regular, bold, or Italic) in font sizes from six to 22 points in eight different languages. The standard version holds 1,000 pages of information in 2MB of memory. Additional pages can be held with a memory upgrade. Data can be transferred to any PDA, PC, or laptop through a serial port or infrared connection. Information downloads into any application that recognizes ASCII such as Outlook, Word, or Excel. The QuickLink comes equipped with four applications: Address Book, Internet Links, Tables and Charts, and Notes.

WizCom Technologies

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.
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