Lernstift the Vibrating Pen That Critiques Your Spelling [Video]


When it comes to handwriting, I can’t read my own. I know that in some schools they have stopped teaching cursive, but what about spelling errors. I know I can’t spell (thank you word processors for assistance). How will children currently in school do the same if no computer is at hand? Well, there is a new Kickstarter campaign for a pen called Lernstift.

Lernstift is a pen that helps with spelling vibrating when there is a spelling error. A pair of German inventors have developed Lernstift, a learning pen that’ll ruthlessly nags you into improving your spelling and handwriting with the power of vibration. Packing a stripped-down Linux system with a non-optical motion sensor. In addition, there’s a calligraphy mode, which’ll let you know exactly how you could make your penmanship a little more, you know, legible. The makers have taken to Kickstarter to raise £120,000 ($181,476) in funding, with a pledge that £99 ($150), will secure you a device.

“The pen’s HWR software is not being developed by us. (That would be far too complex for us as a startup.) Instead, we are working with the worldwide market leader in handwriting recognition. We license their engine and extensive language database of over 40 languages. This will allow us to roll out more and more languages step by step …

“The engine is tried and tested on millions of tablets and smartphones around the world, but the application in our pen has its own requirements. These are our learnings from the first intensive testing:

“The generated sensor data exceeds our requirements in terms of resolution and speed.
The selected embedded hardware (ARM processor, 128 MB RAM) performs at the perfect speed.
Recognition speed for block handwriting at 20 ms per character! “

Their long-term goal is to have Lernstift include a sentence based grammar check. For the device to learn your handing you would write, “a few worlds in block letters followed by the same words in cursive.” Currently only English and German are available, but more will come with software updates. It has an ergonomic design to help make sure it’s compatible to all hand sizes including those of smaller children.

They have made it possible to change the ink, from a fountain pen to ballpoint. There is also a pencil tip that will help with requirements if so desired, it will help make those spelling mistakes not so permanent. Both pens are available now, but they are still working on the pencil tip. They will be making different color options available, so that boy and girls have their choice. Currently, a purplish color and blue are planned.

You might say that with this, pen isn’t there special paper that has to be used like other devices like this. That is one of the unique features it can be used in the air and on any paper. Also, “As soon as the pen is fully developed and launched, we will roll out a number of other products for educational, business and home purposes; all based on the same technology.”

It has built in WiFi so it can connect to PCs, smartphone and even other Lernstift pens. This will help those parents who want to see how well their child is doing via a statistics app. “Kids can play learning games together or send their grandparents handwritten postcards through the Internet. Everyone can share their notes and sketches via Facebook or Twitter with a Lernstift app for social media sharing, and much more …”

A feature that is I feel is pretty cool is that with school-based software, it will work with tablets for teachers eliminating expensive digital whiteboards. With its open API, there is also potential for developers to create their own apps to work with the Lernstift.

If you want one head over to Kickstarter and get your name on the list. You won’t see it for a few months, but I feel that it’s well worth the wait.

By: Forrest L. Rawls

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