Reported May 2008
OAKLAND, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Blind students are about to speed up their learning curve thanks to a new "smart" pen. Did you know, just three characters of Braille take up an inch on a page? This new pen can condense that information into just one smart dot.
A pen that talks to you: For most of us, that's just cool new technology, but for a blind student, this pen may rewrite their future. "Better access to spatial information for blind people will result ultimately, we believe, in better employment and better opportunities for people after they get out of school," Joshua A. Miele, Ph..D., an associate scientist at The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, Calif., told Ivanhoe.
Using technology to improve learning, instructional technologists developed this Smartpen. It not only records what you write, it remembers when you wrote it. And when a teacher can swing by a student's desk and draw the same picture that's on the blackboard, everyone is on the same page.
Just hit record and let the pen do the rest. "It's a pen," Andy Van Schaack, Ph.D., senior science advisor at
Livescribe, Inc. in Oakland, Calif., explained Ivanhoe. "You hold it in your hand. It looks like a pen. It works like a pen so you can just open up a notebook and take notes, but if you turn the pen on, it's a computer."
The visually impaired have a 70 percent unemployment rate. One reason -- training and education are a great challenge. School supplies were a heavy burden. The Smartpen costs about a $150 and all your notes and recordings can be quickly uploaded to your computer. Now that's one "smart" pen. What's next for this new device? Some day the pen will store bus maps, books and even recipes.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. IEEE-USA
Washington, DC 20036-5104
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