If you have a need to jot everything down or sketch at will, Phree may be the stylus for you.
Currently crushing its $100,000 goal on crowd-funding site Kickstarter, this smartpen is touted as capable of inputting on virtually any surface and then storing your notes or drawings in your smartphone or tablet.
Conventional styluses like the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline aren't made for intense, long-term note-taking and need their own tablet as an input surface. Even the cool still requires the use of an Apple iPad to function.
The Phree smartpen works by using a 3D laser patented by Israel-based OTM Technologies, the company behind Phree. The stylus can determine its relative position to a surface by tracking interruptions in the laser, and thus can transfer your physical drawings to a paired device.
Phree connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and is designed to also work with laptops and some smart TVs. The makers claim that Phree will work with cross-platform programs such as Microsoft's OneNote, EverNote and Adobe Systems' Acrobat.
"We invented our OTM technology years ago and spent years, and a lot of money, to make it a mature technology that exceeds the specifications required for a really good input device. But we realized that the market for Phree didn't exist 10 years ago," said co-founder Gilad Lederer.
"Phree was a nice PC accessory years ago, but not an essential input device. With the proliferation of smartphones and interactive TVs, and the fast growth of smart watches, wearables, internet of things and augmented/virtual reality, we realized that we have the input solution to many of these devices that fall short on this front."
Besides working as a stylus, the smartpen packs physical buttons and an OLED touch display. Phree also comes with a built-in handset for taking calls and a tiny screen for reading text messages. Feel the need to reply? Write a message on any surface and hit the send button.
Phree's Kickstarter campaign indicates that it's fully funded with about $323,000 pledged -- more than three times its goal, with more than a month on funding left. All of the "super early bird" offers between $128 to $148 (£82 to £95, AU$161 to AU$186) are gone, but higher pledge levels remain. One caveat, though: not all crowd-funded projects make it to production.
"We always believed in our vision for Phree, and it becoming the entry key to the digital world in many areas. We were encouraged by many to pursue our vision. But we must admit that we were overwhelmed by the amazing take-off we encountered on Kickstarter, having achieved our goal of $100,000 in less than 24 hours, and passing the $300,000 mark in less than a week," said Lederer.
Updated onMay 21 at 3:39 p.m.AEST: Included comments from OTM Technologies.