The Best of Both Worlds: Writing by Hand on a Smart Device

Science is discovering some fascinating indicators about writing by hand and tech developers are inventing ways to reintroduce it.

When you consider how civilization as we know it evolved hand-in-hand with language and our ability to learn, it makes sense that our own development as a species came about, in part, because of the written word. This is an important consideration in the new dawn of texting and voice recognition, and researchers are starting to understand why writing by hand is so crucial to the human experience.1

For all the immediacy and convenience of smart devices, they do not completely replace the act of writing by hand in some cases. Researchers at UCLA conducted a study about note taking on laptops, and the results suggested that longhand is actually much more productive: when students type, they write down everything the teacher is saying, which requires no critical input. However, when those same students took down notes by hand, they had to make decisions about what words and concepts were important. The lesson: slower is sometimes more conducive to learning.2

The act of writing sends a signal to the brain that the content is worth remembering.3

So while handwriting has seen a sharp decline in the wake of faster communication methods, some developers have found a way to combine the important process of writing something down by hand with the elasticity and efficiency of the digital medium.

The makers of BlackPen (http://www.myblackpen.com/) created a writing tool app that allows users to handwrite on specially-configured paper and instantly transfer the data to their device. Simultaneously, the writing is converted to digital text in a readable and editable document, a great perk for businesses and similar environments where users have to manage large quantities of handwritten paper forms.“

In another study, scientists found that cursive in particular, allowed school age children to develop what is a referred to as “functional specialization”, a fancy term for brain optimization. It means that physically shaping letters allows the brain to integrate sensory input, movement and abstract ideas. In brainstorming, organizing, conceptualizing and note taking, it is often advantageous for those notes to be adaptable, whether the user is an architect or an archeologist.

The tech industry continues to respond to this need for the fluid connectivity of ideas, while maintaining the adaptability of digital content. Apps like the BlackPen, capture and process data in a way that can enhance idea development while providing easy access and distribution to accommodate the digital age. Now enabled for 2 in 1 devices powered by Intel® Core™ M processors, more information on the BlackPen app can be found by visiting: http://www.myblackpen.com/blackpen-app

References:

1. http://www.livescience.com/2283-writing-changed-world.html
2. http://pss.sagepub.com/content/25/6/1159
3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201303/why-writing-hand-could-make-you-smarter

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.