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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Xpaper makes digital paper searchable

The only advantage that digital pens and digital paper ever had over the scanner was the short time it took for the document to appear on your monitor.

The pen cut out the middle-machine--the scanner--so people saved time, but in either instance, the document appearing on the screen was not searchable.

Xpaper on monitor
Credit: Talario

Then along came Talario's Xpaper signature-capture system, which when used with the Logitech io2 pen, instantly creates a digital copy of the physical document that can be searched, cut, copied or e-mailed.

Here's how it works. The user creates an existing or blank document in any Windows application and prints it onto the Xpaper. When the document is printed, the Xpaper program creates and saves a digital copy of the encoded paper. When the paper--which carries a unique identifier and a grid pattern that the Logitech pen can read--is written on with the io2 pen, the handwriting creates a pattern that is remembered by the pen. When the pen is docked into a holder that's plugged into the computer, a fully searchable PDF document appears on the monitor.

Until recently, digital pens captured writing as a single image. The result was digital, but still static, making it impossible to search the text for keywords or to copy and paste text into other applications.

The innovative technology is a bit pricey, however, with starter kit prices ranging from $249 to $349 and digitally enhanced letter-sized sheet prices priced at 15 cents each.