Hands up all those who still make notes with pen or pencil and paper! Old fashioned note takers who shun digital screens and a stylus, may be a vanishing breed, but there are enough of us out there for Japanese graphics tablet specialist Wacom, to create a device that neatly bridges the gap between a traditional sketch pen-n-pad and a digital stylus.
Their answer is the Bamboo Spark, which they call a 'smart folio' -- in effect a folder that contains a flat board with a receiver underneath working on the principle of Electro Magnetic Resonance (EMR). They provide an A5 sized writing pad, but you can use any similarly sized sheet of paper. The pen is special, though it looks like a chunky ballpoint. It incorporates a EMR transmitter that digitizes every pen stroke you make. When you have charged the Bamboo Spark, it's good to go for about 8 hours. Once you have put down your thoughts in the form of writing or sketching, you press a button to save the page. You can save up to 100 pages on the device itself. But to edit or transmit your work, you need to install the Bamboo Spark app which syncs your work pad with your phone or PC -- and stores your work in your own folder in the Wacom Cloud. You can refine and edit your work, or export it (as jpeg or PDF) to other tools like One note, Evernote or Dropbox. You would need a solution like this if you want to convert hand writing to soft text.
Many artists were uncomfortable with graphic tablets since the stylus never gave them a feel of a pen. Bamboo Spark will be a welcome alternative -- letting them work with normal paper but letting them digitally manipulate their work. For the rest of use lazy note takers it will have many uses. It costs Rs 10,975 and comes with a couple of ink refills. Visual thinkers will not find that an unreasonable asking price to unleash their creativity.