At first it sounded a little over the top, but the Lernstift, which translates to Learning Pen, is actually a clever piece of technology. Two Munich inventors, Falk & Daniel, have created a Kickstarter page for their smart pen that picks up on spelling mistakes and sloppy writing and points them out with a subtle vibration. The Lernstift is essentially a spellchecker for handwriting and “builds a bridge between classic handwriting and the possibilities of digital technology, creating various new ways of e-learning.”
According to Falk, the idea of the Lernstift came about when his wife was helping their son with his homework and noticed the various spelling mistakes. Her response was… “What he needs is a pen that points out errors right when he makes them,” and Falk apparently took her point seriously and formed a team to make it happen.
The Lernstift has a lot of power packed into a relatively small pen. A lot of the same technology that is found inside your smartphone has been stripped down to fit inside the pen, including a “motion sensor, processor, memory, Wi-Fi and vibration module” on a custom-built circuit board made in Germany.
Lernstifit may be made in Germany, but you don’t need to write in German for it to work. By working with a worldwide market leader in handwriting recognition, the Lernstift will be capable of recognizing over 40 of the top languages and will even learn the individual writing style of the user.
In the typical German fashion, the team behind the Lernstift paid special attention to the details. The design of the pen is fully ergonomic for kids, thanks to the help from Stuttgart’s ipdd GmbH & Co. KG, and has easy to replace writing tips, including a pencil, ballpoint pen, and fountain pen. The Lernstift is also open to developers, so the pen can be fully intigrated with apps on your computer, phone, and/or tablet.
Lernstift has until August 9th to meet the £120,000 ($181,236) Kickstarter goal, and if you want to get your hands on one of the first Lernstift pens (no pun intended), you can get one by pledging £99 ($150) plus £10 ($15) for shipments outside of the UK. If you are interested in the project, there are a lot more technical details included on the Kickstarter page.