Our reason for starting this project is simple: there are no digital pen & paper solutions that support collaborative ideation and discussion in innovative teams. With our background in academic research, we have over 10 years experience in the development of digital pen & paper software. Throughout our daily work, the use of these tools has enabled us to communicate more visually, boosted our creativity, and radically improved our group productivity. Based on this awesome experience, we decided to build a solution that is accessible to everyone, and we are now ready to share it with the world!
What is Paper4Everyone?
Nothing compares to the flexibility of pen & paper for sketching ideas and jotting down notes – even though we are surrounded by digital devices throughout our daily lives. Not surprisingly, we still love paper! So, how about combining these two worlds?
Paper4Everyone is a system that consists of digital pens, custom paper and a specially designed Windows application that lets you produce content by hand and have it digitized so that you can easily share it with others. Paper4Everyone lets you:
Write: You can still draw, sketch and express ideas, as you’ve always done.
Show: You can immediately present and discuss them on a shared screen.
Share: You can effortlessly distribute the results among co-workers.
This allows you to communicate more visually, boost your productivity, and involve the whole team for a truly collaborative work experience!
What can I do with it?
Digitize your handwritten notes & sketches automatically
With Paper4Everyone, handwritten notes are automatically converted to digital strokes. This lets you get the best from the paper and digital worlds: flexible and intuitive note capturing + effortless duplication, sharing and storage.
Show & discuss your notes on a shared screen
The resulting digital notes are transferred to a nearby computer — wirelessly and in real-time. Just watch them magically appear on the screen, and discuss what you see with others.
Interact directly on physical paper
You can directly control what the computer displays using the paper, and without getting up from your chair. Using our “paper buttons” (interactive areas printed on the physical paper) everyone can participate! Bring your sketches to the foreground to present them to the team, select multiple sketches to show them side-by side, or navigate back and forth between the overview and single-page view.
Work with different paper sizes
You are not limited to a single formatted book. Rather, you can use all kinds of paper formats: from small Post-its to handy A5, standard A4, or large-scale A3 sheets – whatever you prefer!
Take your digital pen & paper anywhere, come back and sync later
Although the pen is connected via Bluetooth to show your drawings in real-time, when you leave the room or walk outside the pen starts to store all your drawings automatically. When you get back, everything is synced and appears on the computer – like magic.
Connect to co-workers remotely to share notes over distance
You can also share your drawings with co-workers, friends or partners via the internet. For example, use Paper4Everyone to easily express ideas by simply jotting them down on paper and sharing them in a Skype conference, without needing to explain an idea for hours.
Export your results via for easy sharing & later editing
Your results are not locked into Paper4Everyone. We are using standard file formats so you can easily share your work, or continue by refining your work in other applications. You can find more details on this below.
There are many ways Paper4Everyone can be used. Take handwritten notes and make simple sketches to visualize basic ideas and processes, draw tables and charts to discuss numbers, take free-form notes to transcribe meetings, or let it be an expressive tool for illustrators & designers. The creative opportunities are endless:
- sketches, illustrations, scenes, designs
- doodles, scribbles
- ideas, concepts
- bullet lists, tasks, and to-dos
- charts, facts, and numbers
- tables & graphs
- bar charts, pie charts,…
- flow charts, process diagrams
- timelines, schedules
- meeting notes
What does it look like?
Collect digital copies of your notes in overview mode
See everyone’s notes instantly and in real-time. Just write on any page as you are used to with an analog pen and paper and watch it appear in the overview. No calibration or configuration is necessary.
Group your sketches by different criteria
You can automatically group your sketches by pen, paper format, or time. Each single pen is uniquely identified. Hence our Paper4Everyone application can record exactly at which time which pen has drawn which line on what page.
Compare multiple sketches in side-by-side view
When working in a team, comparison and presentation are two essential tasks. In Paper4Everyone this is super easy. Just by tapping on the “stage” button on the physical page, the application brings it in the foreground, somehow like you would bring up a flipchart page. You can do this with a single page, but also with multiple ones for comparison. All this is possible without leaving your chair or even touching the computer.
View individual sketches in single-page view
To focus on individual sketches, you can view them in full size in single-page view. Using the replay function, you can watch how your pen strokes come together, chronologically, to re-produce the finished sketch. Using the mouse, the lasso selection tool allows you to select specific regions of interest for direct copy-and-paste into other applications.
Export your favorite notes to different file formats
Paper4Everyone supports a large set of export and sharing features. You can export your page to different image formats such as PNG, PDF, SVG, HTML and seamlessly refine your sketches in MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite or whichever tool you prefer. You can also directly share pages via email.
Use the exports for post-processing or further refinement
We took the effort to ensure that you can export your data to each file format with the highest possible quality. This way, you can continue with your work without losing any details.
For example, you can load files into Adobe Illustrator to edit the drawn vector graphics:
…or copy & paste ideas into MS OneNote and convert them to text:
More samples of high-quality vector graphics can be downloaded at:
How does it work?
Paper4Everyone uses Anoto digital pens to capture every detail of your handwriting by using an optical sensor in the tip of the pen. The camera registers a dot code on the paper with an accuracy of 690 dpi. The dot code is carefully designed to be barely visible to the human eye at normal viewing distance. To facilitate true team work, this pattern code is unique on every page. Hence, each page is automatically recognized by our software without the need for any other hardware than the pen. Every pen is connected individually to the computer via Bluetooth. The pen captures its position and pressure with 75 Hz and sends this information in real-time to our application. When a Bluetooth connection is not available, the digital pen stores all written data in its internal memory and syncs again after a connection is re-established.
Our Paper4Everyone software is a Windows application that processes and visualizes all written information from multiple pens and multiple pages in real-time. There’s so many ways of working with pen & paper that are supported with our system: Individual people writing on an individual page, passing pages from one to another, switching pens between users, working together on a single sheet of paper,… The Paper4Everyone application is capable of showing all the pages digitally as they appear in front of you. All information is stored in original quality, and rendered purely in vector graphics with the highest precision.
Similarly, you can integrate the Paper4Everyone system in various ways into your work environment – depending on what fits your working style the best: Working together on a laptop computer, using a computer with a large LCD screen (like what was demonstrated in the video), connecting a laptop or tablet to a projector setup in a meeting room, or even integrating it with an interactive team collaboration device (e.g., MS Surface Hub),…. The Paper4Everyone application can use any display area to provide you with a shared screen where you can discuss your ideas with all team members.
Software Requirements – Windows Client
During launch at least six different paper formats with unique Anoto dot pattern will be available: Post-it, A5, A4, A3, Letter and Legal. All of them also include our printed “paper buttons” that you can touch with the tip of your pen to navigate through your digital notes on the screen. In the current version, we support four types of paper buttons:
- the ‘overview’ button brings up an overview of all captured notes
- the ‘stage’ button brings individual notes into focus (or multiple, for side-by-side comparison)
- the ‘privacy’ button supports on-demand showing/hiding of individual notes
- the ‘rotate’ button lets you rotate digital sketches on the screen
To begin with, Post-its will be provided in the popular yellow color. If we manage to exceed our funding goal, we would be happy to produce even more color options (see “Color 4 Everyone” stretch goal).
To get you started, Kickstarter reward packages are delivered along with samples of pre-printed A5 paper notebooks and Post-it notes (PREMIUM packages with even more!). If you run out of paper at some point, you will be able to purchase more of it from our website, or print your own paper with our PYOP (Print your own Paper) service. The service will be available in an online portal on our website, where you can download pages and print them using your own printer!
Rewards 4 Everyone
Love pen & paper as much as we do? By supporting our Kickstarter campaign, you can make our dream come true!
How does the T-Shirt look like?
If we manage to reach our funding goal, we would be more than happy to offer you even more! There’s sooo many possibilities:
With your support we will be able to meet our strict timeline and ship Paper4Everyone already in December this year:
Since 2005, our team has been developing next-generation user interfaces, focusing mostly on interactive surfaces. All team members have their background from the Media Interaction Lab, a research lab of the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg, focusing on Human-Computer Interaction. Over the past years, the research group has mainly explored the potential of digital pens and developed several projects with companies like BMW, LEGO, Daimler, P&G etc. Overall, there is a fantastic background and we are highly motivated for this adventure. We now need your help to take Paper4Everyone to the next step. Together we can change the way we work together and make creative meetings an incredible and fun experience.
Why we are launching on Kickstarter
We’re launching Paper4Everyone directly to the people most excited about it. Kickstarter is a great community of early adopters and creative minds. We want to establish a community with people who believe in innovation, and want to participate in it. The technology is all set to go, the software will be polished up to the release date, and with your support we’ll be able to go into high-volume manufacturing. Kickstarter is the perfect place to fulfill this goal and we are really excited to get going!
Thanks in advance for your support!
Members of the media are welcome to interview our corporate team, or use high-resolution images of our Kickstarter campaign in their news coverage:
For further information, please feel free to contact us at: [email protected]