Logo Digiwrite

How it works


The Digital Pen - From ink to digital data: quick and easy 


A digital pen looks, feels and writes like a normal ballpoint pen. However, it contains an integrated digital camera, an advanced image microprocessor and a mobile communications device for wireless connection. 


Using a digital pen you can capture, store and then securely send the handwriting, enabling you to easily convert ink to digital data – right away. 


The pen camera takes snapshots

In combination with a surface with the Anoto dot pattern printed on it, a digital pen starts digitizing handwritten text the moment you put pen to the surface. The pen reads and records pen strokes in relation to the barely visible pattern. 


As you write, the camera built into the pen automatically takes digital snapshots of the dot pattern at a rate of between 50 and 100 images per second. Every snapshot contains enough data to enable the pen’s image microprocessor to determine the exact position of the digital pen and what it writes or draws. 


Pen data ready for transfer

In addition to capturing the coordinates that enable accurate recording of the handwriting, the digital pen appends key data about the handwriting context. This includes the exact time it was written and the identity of the writer – every digital pen has a unique pen ID, which is included every time data is sent from the pen. The pen data also includes details on the specific paper form and page. 


All this data is then retained in the pen’s memory. The digital pen can store up to 50 full A4/Letter size pages of handwritten data. With the handwritten form or document completed and pen data captured and stored, the user is ready to transfer data from the pen.


Digital Paper:





A surface covered with the Anoto dot pattern works in combination with a digital pen in the digitizing of handwritten information. Almost any surface can be digitized with the Anoto dot pattern. The dot pattern makes it possible for the digital pen’s built-in camera to detect pen strokes and record handwriting that can then be stored and sent digitally.


The pattern indicates position 

Every small area of the pattern has a unique combination of dots with different positions. When the user writes on the surface, the digital pen captures information about what the user writes and where, by registering the pattern close to the pen tip. The information is saved in the pen.  


Almost invisible to the naked eye, the Anoto pattern consists of numerous intelligent small black dots that can be read by a digital pen. The pattern indicates the exact position of the digital pen as it moves across the surface.


Digital paper becomes on-site reference 

Anoto Digital Pen technology allows information to be simultaneously recorded in both written and electronic form. For exemple, once a paper has fulfilled its role in digitizing handwritten text, it becomes a conventional paper copy, but the difference is that it can be left at the job site for reference, if required. Using Anoto Digital Pen technology also eliminates the possibility of losing important written information in the time lag between writing on site and manually inputting the data on a system back in the office.






The dot patternWhen the Anoto dot pattern is added to a paper product, it is possible to use a digital pen on the paper to register what and where the user writes. 

The quality of the printed Anoto dot pattern will affect the quality of the digital data coming from the pen. At the same time the Anoto dot pattern adds information to the document which could have impact on for example the printing speed. Thereby, the printing has a direct influence on performance and the characteristics of the use of digital pen and paper. 


Transfer of data from pen:

Send data for digital processing

The digital pen user transfers data after it has been temporarily stored in the pen, either:

- Wirelessly: by ticking a box on the paper (or any other surface), interpreted by the pen as a “send” command, the pen will use Bluetooth to instantly send data via a mobile phone

- Via a USB port: pens connect to any PC

Sent data is in proprietary Anoto PGC format and can either be handled locally or routed to the application server associated with that specific paper form for further processing.


Digitizing handwritten information

The application receiving the PGC data extracts all information using an Application Programming Interface (API). The APIs are available both for PC and server environments. The pen data includes all information about the pen strokes written on the page, including:

- The location (coordinates for each pen camera picture taken by the pen)

- Exact time of when they were written

- Who wrote them

- The identity of the paper form and of the specific pages

Data may be exported in any preferred format to suit the recipient system. Typically, data may be exported as a picture (for example, in .GIF format) but most often it needs to be translated into letters and digits by character recognition software. This requires, for example, an .XML file as an input. Finally, data can be integrated into the enterprise's back-end system for further processing.


Forms Processing:

Information capture 

Capturing handwritten text via a digital pen is the first step in efficient forms processing using Anoto technology. 


Be it text, an illustration or a check in a box, the digital pen automatically captures all handwritten information as you write. In addition to your writing, a time stamp is added to every stroke. Plus, data is included that identifies which pen was used, as well as the exact paper form and page. 


In contrast to faxed or other scanned documents, only your written information is transmitted, thereby keeping the data files to a minimum. It is also possible to receive feedback to the phone, so that you can correct any mistake or missed data while still on the job. This guarantees instant data delivery of the highest quality in your form processing routines. 


Data optimization 

At the receiving point, completed forms are based on form-ID and can be routed to the corresponding application for processing. Handwritten text will be automatically converted into electronic form. If there is any uncertainty, or data doesn’t comply with the business rules, an operator corrects any error or sends the information back to the user in real time for validation. This frees a lot of resources compared to off-line manual registration and data correction, and lets you handle peak volumes with ease. 


Data integration 

The last step in the forms processing sequence is to integrate the data into the enterprise’s document and data flow. The data can be exported in any format including XML and GIF to suit any back office system, such as ERP or CRM, at the recipient.