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iPen ... naturally interact with a digital world


mobile device


project lead:

rudolf greger

design team:

lukasz bertoli,

rudolf greger,

thomas haberfellner,

philip haselwander,

denton koenderink,

frank rettenbacher,

christian rukower,

jürgen spangl

the limitations of mobile devices in terms of cumbersome controls and small display size have inspired GP designpartners to research electronic pen and paper.

the iPen defines what a mobile communication instrument in the 21st century should be:

it's a mobile phone that keeps you organized, on time, in contact and sync with the rest of the world.

it's a pen to let you handwrite notes both digitally or with real ink.

it's convenient electronic paper that makes reading your emails, rss-feeds or ebooks a pleasure.

and it works as a voice-recorder and mp3-player. the iPen offers a complete solution with the breadth of functionality and easy of use that you need.

the cylindric display

the iPen introduces a radical redefinition of "scrolling" with its cylindric display: instead of jerkily scrolling text pixel by pixel you physically rotate the display — without actually moving the pixel on the display. the analog rotation and the bending of the display allow for quick navigation without losing the context. this lets you read large amounts of text conveniently on the go.

how to interact with the iPen

well-considered interaction

all the interaction and navigation is done with the navi-knob. simply rotate the navi-knob to scroll — the orange indicator jumps from line to line like a bleb. push the navi-knob to select an entry. pull it to go back. it makes scrolling through your entire email history, addressbook or music collection quick and easy.

take a handwriting note

take note!

handwriting is a natural, human experience that has existed for hundreds of years. and the iPen is a genuine product that utilizes your natural ability: it senses your handwriting with its doppler-based motion sensor from otm and transforms it into digital text. it offers both "invisible" digital ink and real ink. so you can write an email in your palm and send it right of. or you can annotate a book and have the annotation both in the book and on your iPen. and as the iPen can also scan text up to 1cm of height you can scan the isbn/issn-number of the book, let the iPen find out author and title — and have them automatically added to your note. whatever you write — keep it with the iPen. you don't have to change the way you have worked for years, just because you want to also store your writing digitally.

take a handwriting note

turn on reading!

did we mention that the iPen with its rotable cylindric screen is superbly suited for reading? keep on reading your favorite blogs on the go. or the online news. it even supports downloadable ebooks. and of course your own notes you took with the iPen. this way you can have all the information you need — on everything from design reviews to city guides, and from news articles to the latest poetry — at your fingertips.

it's a mobile phone?

yes of course! the iPen is a tri-band gsm-phone equipped with gprs to keep you online. it comes with a wireless headset that is connected via bluetooth wireless technology and delivers highest sound quality. but the real thrill is its hassle-free functionality and mature integration with the other services: to call a number you can handwrite it or browse your contacts by first name, last name, by company or country to pick the number. you can take notes with the iPen during a call. you can easily switch between calls in a conference call. you can make a calendar entry to remind you to call somebody — and have the right number and name presented you at the specified time.

smartsync with mac and windows

no matter whether you use a mac or windows pc iPen offers a smooth solution to synchronize your contacts, calendar, to-do lists, notes, songs, ebooks, voice-memos or files. with smartsync you can transfers all your data to and from your iPen so you always have the most current info with you wherever you go. it's fast, effortless and simple. it uses only platform-independent industry-standard like vCards and vCalendar/iCalendar. and it integrates with Apple's Adress Book and iCal and Microsoft's and Entourage. take a handwriting note on the go — back home automatically sync via bluetooth wireless technology and you have a safety-net that is always up-to-date reflecting the latest changes.

stay tuned ... there is more

the iPen features a mp3 player and recorder, so you can take your music wherever you go. you can also record your memos, ideas or meetings wherever you are and store them on your iPen.

the iPen comes with a sleep timer, so you can fall asleep to your favorite music. and an alarm clock — with a canny snoozer — to wake you up again.

the iPen lets you do the maths: with the calculator and the currency converter you always know what you are paying.

the iPen lets you do a whole lot more, including contacts, calendar and to-do lists — synced with your favorite pim.

naturally interact ...

  • call your friends
  • send sms
  • check & write emails
  • take important files with you
  • wake up to your favorite music
  • electronically handwrite on any surface
  • scan citations from books
  • remember your dates & to-do's
  • create new calendar entries
  • keep your contacts

... with the digital world

  • record voice-memos
  • check online news
  • blog your comments
  • listen to audiobooks
  • learn a foreign language
  • study ebooks
  • remote control your computer
  • convert currencies
  • stopwatch your lap times
  • draw scribbles
  • sync with your computer

availability and pricing

the iPen is a concept study — and not yet realized as a product — to demonstrate the vast potential of the GP designteam in integrating industrial design and user interface design: the fusion of interaction architecture and product design leads to a compact design-solution which makes technology easily available to the people.

cargoo — interaction design speeds up the loading procedure of a closed double-decker car-carrier wagon dpm 9600 — a digital voice recorder with barcode scanner and docking station aonVirenchecker — complexity made simple magic3 — how can i change my outgoing voicemail announcement? mocca — assist, without taking over. a pilot project for fabasoft TeleZone — an architecture for net architecture (ars electronica award) k2 — an user- adaptable database client for trenkwalder cure — agent based financial self service system