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Digital Pen Vibrates To Indicate Bad Spelling, Grammar and Penmanship 144

Zothecula writes "Use digital technology long enough and you start to become dependent upon it for such mundane tasks as spell checking. That means when you pick up a garden variety ballpoint pen you're back in dictionary and 'I before E except after C' territory. The creators of the Lernstiftdigital pen hope to bring handwriting into the 21st century by having the pen vibrate to indicate when the writer makes spelling and grammatical errors or exhibits poor penmanship."
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Digital Pen Vibrates To Indicate Bad Spelling, Grammar and Penmanship

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  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:59PM (#42827993)

    Wait, are they trying to discourage bad spelling and grammar, or encourage it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems your penmanship is slipping. I am sure that vibrating will only improve it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So when your handwriting is bad... it makes it worse?

    That is almost as stupid as suspending a student for skipping school.

  • For someone with atrocious spelling and grammar like me [], this would have been a godsend. Some part of me thinks this may be a genuine psychological problem since I've always had trouble with both, including handwriting. I know it in my head, but by the time it comes out on paper, it's almost complete gibberish. This would have helped so much!
    • Sounds like my artistry. I can picture what I want to draw in my head, but it just doesn't turn out that way. In fact, the first line/curve I draw gets messed up, and it just gets worse with each passing second.
    • Your handwriting is bad but not utterly incomprehensible. Not a point of pride, I might add - you may as well be illiterate if you can't write. You should learn to write a clear hand of some sort when dealing with others. I have been known to resort to block print occasionally in order to ensure that anything I write is comprehensible to all.
    • []

      It's what I have and your handwriting looks very similar to mine, unless I write very, very slowly. There is no treatment, but sometimes it's useful to know the cause to work around it.
      • by eksith ( 2776419 )

        Sorry to hear about this. That makes me very nervous.

        My handwriting, spelling and grammar weren't always this terrible and just recently I started to learn the guitar. It never occured to me this may be an issue with my motor skills. I'm a fairly OK typist, but then I don't type too much in plain English and typing code isn't normally that fast to begin with. I suppose I'd have to get myself checked just in case, but the "smart pen" seemed like a quick fix for everything.

        • I wouldn't worry about it that much. In today's day and age, it's not at all a big deal if your handwriting is shit. With me, personally, I've never noticed any deficiency in any other area than handwriting. It's certainly possible your case is different as each brain is unique, but at the same time, there is a lot that's not understood about how we work.

          Maybe you read a while back about Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. Well. He lost his ability to draw on paper due to a strange brain condition [].
  • Awful Idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by archshark ( 1839686 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @10:09PM (#42828067)
    Ok, lets say this somehow actually works... you spell something wrong, while writing with a PEN... now what?
    • by jrumney ( 197329 )

      Ok, lets say this somehow actually works... you spell something wrong, while writing with a PEN... now what?

      For that, we has got the optionel blowtorch accesary, to burn that peice of paper you was writting on.

    • Ok, lets say this somehow actually works... you spell something wrong, while writing with a PEN... now what?

      Damn, that was actually funnier than what I was thinking would happen if it did it to me. See, I'd throw the damn thing across the room and get a Pilot Precise back out and write for real. Boy would e. e. cummings [] HATE that thing! As someone that thinks negative feedback is the best teacher, this has got to be the lamest idea for teaching children (or adults) how to remember proper spelling and grammar. How is it any different than auto correct? Actually, I think it would be worse because it doesn't actuall

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Boy would e. e. cummings HATE that thing!

        That guy was a good poet, but unfortunately 1) poetry is not prose, although good prose is poetic; 2) In art, the rules are guidelines rather than laws, but when one breaks a convention one should have a good artistic reason; 3) a lot of young folks don't realize that and think "If cummings can do it, so can I; 4) He only wrote POETRY like that -- his prose used caps and all the other normal writing conventions. Here is some of his prose:

        A locomotive cut the car in h

    • Then, it vibrates and you end up writing all over the page.

      Yeah, this sounds great doesn't it?

    • Then you use the laser to burn out the word of course
  •'re dependent on the magic vibrating pen.

    Yeah, that's a big improvement.

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @10:18PM (#42828155)

    in my pocket, can't wait for that

  • Nup. No way. Not with the name 'Lernstift'.
    • Nup. No way. Not with the name 'Lernstift'.

      Well, IKEA had beaten them to dershakenpen, so they had to go with that.

  • So that explains the subtle grammatical and spelling errors your mom kept yelling, such as: "your doin grate dont stop dont stop keap go-ing, o ya i luv it more then n e thing"
  • If the pen will punish me for bad penmanship it will just bring back bad memories of being taught (much against my will) how to write in cursive back in 3rd grade. Hell, I enjoyed memorizing multiplication tables but dreaded cursive writing tests. I still remember my teacher giving me extra pages of just the dreaded lower-cased letter "r".

    If this pen takes a similar approach I would just take the batteries out and go back to typing messages.
    • You're lucky, they just had me write lines to punish me and get me out of their hair. I didn't learn anything, except that they would still accept my sheets if I wrote the letters down instead of across. You know, I didn't have to write I WILL NOT LOOK AT THE OTHER CHILDREN, I could write I I I I I I W W W W W W W I I I I I I etc

      • In elementary school they'd often send me to the library to get rid of me. We had "library passes" that teachers could issue to students, and they were issued to me quite often. I spent most of my time reading whatever scientific books I could find in our library (often not realizing how out of date they were - I remember in particular reading a book on how great skylab was going to be).

        However one time I looked up a profane word in the giant unabridged dictionary - and then showed it to my friends. Th
  • Electric shock?

    Much better.

  • Sensor accuracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @10:30PM (#42828233)

    Since when were affordable motion sensors anywhere near accurate enough to track the movements of the end of a pen well enough to determine what was written? And if they are, why the hell are you using them for such a dumb idea? If the sensors really are that accurate, that means they're accurate enough to do complete finger tracking in three dimensions. Can you say VR interface glove? That's exactly what we need to go with an Oculus Rift. Sensors as accurate as these would have to be to do what they're claiming built into gloves, together with a Rift, would enable the world's best 3D modeling interface. Sculpt your model with your hands. This idea has been around since VR was first conceived. Are we finally getting there?

    • Something similar already exists [] and provides haptic feedback so you can "feel" the surface you are sculpting with your pen/tool. I have to say i'm not that impressed with the results (see their gallery), but that's not necessarily a comment on the product, rather the artists who use it. Seems people have been getting much better results with stuff like ZBrush [] anyway
  • There is a prototype, but the first generation is expected mid 2013. What is the prototype really able to do?
  • Set the damn thing to understand the writing patterns of a person and they can use it for a key. Wire it up if it's not you, barbs snap out and into your hand locking it to you and an amazingly powerful internal stun gun mechanism lights you up like a pinball machine. Also, if they can do that then they can set one up for espionage. Give one to your wife and see what she writes with it, when she uses it.

    I see acres of applications for something like this and helping school kiddies being just one.

  • Penmanship? who can really defend good penmanship, some of the most educated people have the worst legible writing imaginable. How neat you write has nothing to do with the quality of the information. As for bad grammar and spelling I'm so pro for this pen it's insane. Growing up having a learning disability which makes it hard to spell and really hard to use grammar correctly, I can totally see the need for this. ( Of course on a side note any one who needs the grammar to read doesn't really know how
    • Reading teaches you grammar far moreso than vice versa (so I guess I agree with you). I never learnt (m)any grammar rules BECAUSE of reading. I started with adult books at a young age and consequently didn't pay a shred of attention in english classes. I'm far from perfect but I'd like to think I can outdo your average Joe for the most part.
      • The problem is we often have a quite large conceptual gap between what we say and what we think we say... and more often than not we write what we think we say, not what we say....
      • I agree with you, when I read my brain puts in all the required puncuation for me before I even notice it. So in fact grammar to me, even growing up never played a big / any role. Now granted not everyone can work like I do but on some level you have to admit that your brain can put the facts together and in the end you don't really need to see things like commas, periods, question marks and etc...
    • Not that your bad penmanship is the cause of bad spelling, but if the pen can't discern what letters you're writing, it probably presumes you're just spelling the word wrong. It's more of a limitation on the device than a bug or a feature, but they've chosen to market it as the latter.

  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Thursday February 07, 2013 @10:54PM (#42828373)

    Not only will it indicate poor penmanship, but it will exacerbate it as well! I guess it couldn't make my handwriting any worse.

  • Eat up martin is what you get when you write beat up martin

  • What useing this to make ups and store pads work a lot better then they do now.

  • I'd pretty quickly throw it across the classroom at the wall. Kids are moving away from cursive handwriting and only printing. How long before we don't write much of anything ever? I don't know about you, but lost the ability to use a quill and ink well.
    • by cervesaebraciator ( 2352888 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:15AM (#42829091)

      I can speak from experience as one who teaches on the university level: an increasing number of students already cannot write by hand. When they ask me at the beginning of the semester whether they can use laptops to take notes, I allow them with a caution. Since departmental standards require that they complete a written final, I encourage them to use note-taking as an opportunity to practice penmanship (more importantly it also helps them to learn how to think and summarize rather than attempting to take down a transcript of a lecture they won't read later). For so many, the only time they write is when they sit down for a final in which case, being out of practice, the speed of writing inhibits them from being able to write a complete essay response. After two hours, many turn in 3-4 pages (in a half letter sized blue book) of either illegible scrawl or blocky letters that clearly attempt to replicate print. That they did not receive instruction earlier in life on quick, efficient, and legible handwriting was a disservice to them.

      You're quite right that we're moving away from handwriting, but we're not there yet. It remains a useful skill and offers a slight but real advantage over the run-of-the-mill, utilitarian job training one often receives in schools today.

      Incidentally, I think the batteries must be dead in your vibrating keyboard. I read your sig and the spelling is a mess.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm surprised it's still like this to some degree. I was in law school from 94-97 and was one of the very first people to use a laptop for note taking (a 486sx20 with 32 shades of gray or some wildly good specs like that). Anyway, the state I live in had (I think still has) a 100% essay bar. The thing is though, at that time you could use a typewriter providing it had no more memory ability than a single line (for backspace and such) and you were required to keep spellcheck off. The pass rate of those w

        • I basically agree with you, but I don't make the rules.

          departmental standards require that they complete a written final

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        I love people like you, I'm 60 and you make me think I should get off your lawn. I wish laptops had existed when I was in college; I can type faster than I could ever write longhand, but even then, rather than taking notes I'd just record the lecture with the laptop. Actually, that's what I did, only I used a cassette recorder.

        That they did not receive instruction earlier in life on quick, efficient, and legible handwriting was a disservice to them.

        That's an assumption on your part, and a bad one at that.

        • I love people like you...

          Why thank you. People like me love people like you too.

          ... only I used a cassette recorder.

          I know others who did and still do this. I was never a fan personally. There's always a risk of zoning out since you know you can go listen again later, which means you've wasted the hour or so in lecture. But, to each his own. I recommend note-taking, and certainly not just the handwriting aspects of it, because its a useful skill whether in lecture, when reading, or when writing.


          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

            There's always a risk of zoning out since you know you can go listen again later

            I guess everybody's different, but humans aren't as good at multitasking as they think they are. I want to have my full attention on what the lecturer is saying. Of course, you have to copy anything that's written on the blackboard (now whiteboard).

            I know by allowing this half of the class will be tooling about on Facebook.

            Well, if they're doing that, 40 years ago they would have been passing notes to each other and still missin

            • The assumption is that they lacked instruction rather than that their skills had deteriorated.

              Ah. I see what you're getting at. And if all I had to go by was the handwriting of students, you'd be quite right. In at least some cases, you likely are. Here's the thing though: I write in print on the board because my colleagues and I have been informed by students that they cannot read cursive. In so many words, students have told me that they were never taught. I, like many who've posted here, actually do n

              • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

                I write in print on the board because my colleagues and I have been informed by students that they cannot read cursive. In so many words, students have told me that they were never taught.

                Wow, sad and amazing. I think my twentysomething daughters can read and write cursive. I'll have to ask the youngest.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I had to re-train myself when starting to go to university, because cursive is just plain unusable for any real work. It is slow, leads to cramps, takes too much space, is unreadable when you have to be fast, scales badly, is hard to read even if done well, etc. It had some justification when people had lots of time and writing was a valuable skill by itself and looks were more important than usability. Not so anymore, best abolish it completely as a fundamentally broken aberration.

      I also dropped using a fo

  • but its /facedesk if the paperclip starts second guessing what I'm doing.
  • I have a pen which indicates when it is being used to write with poor penmanship or to write spelling and grammatical errors. It indicates this by not vibrating, flashing, or making any noise whatsoever. They're cheap as dirt, too -- less than 10 cents a pen. [] And I've never had one fail to indicate a problem, nor indicate a problem where none exists.

  • -Did you write with your ass?
    -Well, actually...

  • Yeah right. First it was the "body massager", now it's the "vibrating pen". Nice try.

    But if they are really serious, they are a bit behind the times: how often do people write with a pen anymore? The only time I use a pen (sharpie, actually) is to mark where to cut the 2x4.
  • by retchdog ( 1319261 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:18AM (#42829107) Journal

    i'm skeptical about the spelling and grammar checker, but as for the pressure...

    pens have already been developed which don't require noticeable pressure in the first place [].

    there are even some [] for [] children [].

    aren't they messy? not if you use cartridges. also, blue fountain pen ink is usually easily washable, unless you specifically get a variety which isn't.

    won't the dumb kid lose his $20 fountain pen? well, i guess this might be a problem (although somehow we managed before), but i'm sure this accelerometer/vibrator pen would cost a lot more anyway.

    the ergonomics are another advantage. making the pen easier to hold can only improve handwriting.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Wow, some people have bad penmanship even with a keyboard!

      • apart from my conscious decision to eschew capitalization, could you point out what you mean?

        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          Capitalization improves readability, as does good penmanship when you're writing by hand. Why did you make that conscious decision? Are you sure it was a conscious decision? What is the purpose of eschewing capitalization?

          • uh, yeah; since i've justified it about a dozen times, it's certainly a conscious decision by now even if it wasn't when i started, which it was.

            so, once again: the purpose is to emphasize that web forums, like slashdot, are more like chatting than they are like formal writing. in conversation, there is no capitalization. i don't want anything i write here to be taken as an authoritative written statement, so i demarcate by using a pseudonym and not capitalizing.

            though, i've got to admit, i'm getting tired

            • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

              the purpose is to emphasize that web forums, like slashdot, are more like chatting than they are like formal writing

              So is a snail mail letter to Grandma. I don't see why the fact that it's a web forum needs emphasis; everyone knows they're on a forum.

              • no, my written letters (when i write them, which is none too often) are much deeper and more coherent and meaningful than the idle chatter on slashdot.

                and, yes, my casual notes are also uncapitalized.

  • Then the perpetrator of bad penmanship cannot commit any more of that horrible, horrible crime!

    Side note: I nominate that for "most stupid idea of the week".

  • I don't write anymore, I just type.

  • My pen will carve the incorrectly spelled word into the back of your hand. Submitting a patent now, and will sue Rowling ASAP.
  • by CodeheadUK ( 2717911 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @03:58AM (#42829793) Homepage

    I hope is has a better dictionary selection and retention than Word. Being constantly reprimanded by squiggly red lines that I the software thinks that I should use -ize on words that should be -ise is enough to make me gouge out my eyes with a vibrating pen.

    • Bottom bar. Next to EXT/OVR click on 'English-US' and change it to UK or whatever. Now you don't have to bitch and moan in public any more! Aren't you happy now?
    • Being constantly reprimanded by squiggly red lines that I the software thinks that [...] is enough to make me gouge out my eyes with a vibrating pen.

      Surely it would be more appropriate to gouge out the eyes of the programmer who wrote the code. Or even better, the manager and marketing morons who thought it would be a good idea.

      Though the programmers who make assumptions about the language and preferences of users without providing a way for users to change the configuration, do deserve ... well, a clue-by

  • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these... no .. no wait.. i got this ... In soviet Russia digital pen ... der.. ... ah fudge ...
  • Vibrating Pen .... Hmm.....
  • A pen that shocks you if you disrespect the Dear Leader

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982