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