Integrative Biology VRE Project

Management of Paper: Anoto Digital Pen and Paper Evaluation

During the analysis of research processes across the IB consortium, the use of pen and paper was identified as forming an essential component of research practice, either as the tool used to carry out the research (in the case of the IB mathematical biologists), or for the recording and managing of day to day research activities (in the case of the IB computational biologists).

Anoto functionality is a leading digital pen and paper technology based on the use of real paper and pen. It comprises an adapted ballpoint pen and paper that has been imprinted with a patented dot pattern. The pen is fitted with a digital camera, and by recognising the dot pattern as the pen moves across the paper, captures the writing in a digital form. These digital pen notes can then be transferred to the user's desktop or laptop, allowing material to be more easily managed and shared amongst collaborators.
Anoto Functionality  Anoto Group AB
Anoto Functionality Anoto Group AB

The evaluation work began in January 2006 following contact with Maxell Europe. Maxell kindly offered the project a Maxell DP-201 Pen Evaluation Kit to help the team assess the technology. A preliminary evaluation study was conducted in April 2006 with two members of the Mathematical Institute, contributing to a poster and demo at the UK e-Science All Hands Meeting 2006.

Putting pen to paper: capturing the integrative biologist's paper trail, Poster, AHM2006, September 2006 Poster (PDF)

Between July and September 2006, twelve Logitech IO2 Digital Pens and a variety of Anoto paper products were given to members of the IB community at Oxford and Nottingham University. Evaluators were asked to use the back pages of their supplied notebooks to record their experiences with the technology through the course of the evaluation. These were reported back to the evaluation team through a mini-workshop on digital pen technology, follow-up interviews, and an online survey.

Digital paper and Integrative Biology Mini-Workshop, Oxford University, 27 September 2006

This workshop brought together both those who had evaluated Anoto functionality, both as part of the IBVRE project, and in the wider community. The aim was to allow participants to share experiences, and reach a consensus on benefits, issues, and priorities for future work. To put the work into context, there was also a session to explore the relationship this technology has with related work in augmented paper and paper replacement.

Agenda
Time Session
14:00 - 14:10 Introduction & introductions (Matthew Mascord, Integrative Biology VRE)
14:10 - 14:30 The Future of Digital Paper Technology (Paul Luff, Paper++, King's College London) Slides (PDF)
14:30 - 15:50 Round the table summaries of experiences using digital paper technology from evaluators
15:50 - 16:00 Using Digital Pens for Physics (Francois Grey, CERN) Slides (PDF)
16:00 - 16:30 Open discussion to work towards a consensus on benefits, issues and priorities for future work (Facilitated by Marina Jirotka)
16:30 - 17:00 Discussion on the relationship with the wider subject of paper augmentation and replacement (Facilitated by Marina Jirotka)
17:00 End of Mini-Workshop
Attendees
Attendee Affiliation Role
Jon Chapman Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford Evaluator
Gary Mirams Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham Evaluator
Alex Walter Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham Evaluator
Rebecca Rowland Department of Physiology, University of Oxford Evaluator
Alan Garny Department of Physiology, University of Oxford Evaluator
Carina Edwards Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford Evaluator
Sharon Lloyd Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford Evaluator
Marina Jirotka Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford Facilitator
Annamaria Carusi Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford Facilitator
Matthew Mascord Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford Facilitator
Francois Grey CERN Participant
Paul Luff King's College London Participant
Jeremy John British Library Participant
Ruth Kirkham BVREH Project, University of Oxford Participant
John Pybus BVREH Project, University of Oxford Participant
Susheel Varma University of Sheffield Participant

IBVRE Digital Paper Evaluation Report, April 2007 Full Text (PDF)

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