Haven’t we all been in that situation, in need of a piece of paper to sketch out that important idea? Trying to capture a visual representation of that conversation or meeting you just had at the coffee shop. Today, we’ve got a pretty cool Kickstarter project that wants to take those worries away.
Actually, it just wants to take the paper away all together…
Having blown past its goal by over $250,000, the Phree “mobile input device” makes any surface a writing pad. Marketing speak aside, it’s a pretty cool design that has a lot of Kickstarter pledgers thinking paperless is the way to go. The product page states that Phree will work with “anything with a Bluetooth connection”, including TVs, laptops and other devices, although smartphones and tablets seem to be the most natural marriage. It reminds us of the Neo Smartpen, although Phree has more functions in play.
The design is pretty interesting, within the pencil-like frame is a 3D laser that omits a beam towards your writing surface. The sensor inside then tracks how the beam reflects to collect your writing. The makers of Phree hope that this device will be used regularly to quickly answer messages and capture thoughts. It is marketed as a constant companion to your device, not just an accessory for periodic use. Personally, I see it as an input device first but there are also number of other functions involved as well.
Phree has a built-in display that shows notifications and also acts as a menu for controlling the pen. There is a headphone jack, mouse buttons and even a speaker and microphone for answering calls with it. Much like how Apple has tried to keep your iPhone in your pocket with the Apple Watch, Phree aims to serve many of the same purposes. The rechargeable battery is slated to last roughly a week with regular use, with an hour charge time to get back up and running.
With over a month to go, Phree has raised over $360,000, easily surpassing its goal of $100,000. You’ll be able to get in on the Kickstarter campaign by pledging $168, which will deliver a Phree in the Spring of next year.