I just ran across this article in Technology Review magazine from last year that covers Microsoft’s research into the Magic Pen. Jian Wang of the Microsoft Research Asia lab in Beijing is developing a pen that takes lets you write on paper and captures it digitally in the computer. What makes the Magic Pen technology so different from similar efforts by competitors is the ability to edit digital documents using just the pen and paper:
Stopping at a desk,Wang picks up a rectangular, silvery pen about the size of a magic marker and scribbles some corrections on a paper document. But this is no ordinary pen. A few seconds later, his comments appear on a nearby computer screen— superimposed on the electronic version of the document in the exact spot where he wrote on the hard copy.Wang’s pen captures handwriting and lets users make changes to digital files—on paper.
The article is an excellent read for anyone curious about this type of technology and how it might relate to the future evolution of the Tablet PC.