Emerging Technologies

FlickInk: Beyond Pen and Paper

FlickInk reinvents pen-based interaction with richer experiences in seamless collaboration and digital augmentation of the physical world. It allows handwriting and sketches on any paper or written surface to be shared with a quick flick, making paper-based media transportable to shared collaborative environments. Unlike using whiteboards where all participants of a session observe the process of an individual developing sketches with false starts and errors visible to all, FlickInk lets users develop their ideas privately and maintain a written record of their own, sharing only what they care to at the time and location of their choosing. Multiple users can flick their written content to intended devices, creating a collaborative environment. The instant appearance of ready-to-share sketches adds surprises and fun to the co-creation process. FlickInk also engenders an effortless and powerful way to create animated stories. The order of sharing in a collaboration process can also be recorded to show the development of ideas. These recordings can be played back and scrubbed through to find information and to facilitate asynchronous collaboration. Furthermore, it allows the development of a sketch to be played back as an animation to visualize the progression of creation. The pen holds a certain richness of interaction which other interfaces do not. It is also very accessible to the average person, with everyone having their own writing/sketching style and method. By making the pen smarter with richer experiences, we amplify these natural traits to create a unique and individualized interface in our everyday lives which can be intuitive, playful and available to the majority.

Sheng-Ying Pao MIT Media Lab

Alexander Reben
Cisco Systems Inc.

Kent Larson
MIT Media Lab