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Imagine integrating a pen and paper process with can be done!

Humans have been using pen and paper for thousands of years. Even nowadays, with all the advancements in electronic technologies, pen and paper arguably is still the most popular, versatile, convenient and ubiquitous means for us to record and pass information.

In many cases, paper-based workflow is still dominating in daily business. It is estimated that every year billions of dollars are spent in converting information in paper to electronic format.  A method that can effortlessly marry paper-based inputs with cyberspace could be highly valuable to Intuit and our customers.

To answer the need, a few colleagues and I at TIG have been working on a project called QuickPen, which tries to integrate QuickBase with the Anoto digital pen technology. Looking like a regular pen, Anoto pen can digitize human writings when used with a paper printed with special watermarks. Powered with battery and equipped with data connectivities, the digital pen is extremely mobile. By cleverly using the watermarks printed in the paper, pen inputs can be captured with very high accuracy and reliability, which assures superb quality in post-processing (such as hand-writing recognition).

Though has been used in various applications (such as LiveScribe and Adapx),  the digital pen technology is generally hard to work with because it requires a chain of sophisticated components that often need heavy expertise to construct and integrate. That’s perhaps why all of the existing applications are highly customized and rigid. QuickPen is different! As far as we know of, this is the first system that can fully automate a generic form to be digital pen ready and provide it as a SaaS feature. With a single click, QuickBase users can start using digital pen with their forms, and QuickPen will take care of the entire process, including input capturing, data conversion, hand-writing recognition, data understanding and consolidation.  Check out this video demonstration to see how easy it could be to an end user.

Today, QuickPen is still a lab prototype and TIG is working closely with the QuickBase team to explore its potentials. If you want to know more details about the project or have thoughts on how it can be utilized, please contact Gang Wang or visit Intuit Labs for more info.   


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