Moleskine may trace its history to a more nostalgic time, branding itself as the “heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries,” but now, it’s getting a bit of a modern twist. On Wednesday, the company unveiled its new Smart Writing Set, which promises to work together with a smart pen and an app to instantly digitize notes and sketches made on paper. It’s a far cry from the notebooks used by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin — but hey, if they had this kind of technology available to them, they probably would’ve championed it too.
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Comprising three components, the Smart Writing Set seems well suited for the wistful millennial, allowing you to maintain your attachment to pen and paper while recognizing the benefits of technology. Thanks to the special Paper Tablet notebook, the smart Pen+, and the companion app, you’ll be able to digitally edit and share what you create on paper in real time, all without ever having to take a photo, upload, or scan anything at all.
The Paper Tablet is certainly reminiscent of a traditional Moleskine, but is “specially marked” with a grid of little dots so that the pen knows exactly what you’re marking down. It’s still paper, but makes use of invisible NCode technology by NeoLAB Convergence embedded within each page. The pen itself is quite the technological achievement — a small, embedded camera is responsible for a lot of the magic, keeping track of your scribbles and converting them to a digital format. And of course, the app allows you to access all your work in various, non-paper media, and share everything with just about everyone.
Sure, there’s nothing particularly novel about this new product offering, but when it comes from Moleskine, it certainly lends a sense of gravitas to the project. That said, you’ll pay for the name — the set doesn’t come cheap, launching at $199 for the Pen+ and the Paper Tablet. But considering what you’re paying for their normal, non-advanced notebooks, maybe this isn’t such a splurge after all.