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  Introduction:

Rather than trying to explain who Wizcom Technologies is and what they do, here is a small snippet from their website, which does the job quite nicely: 

"WizCom Technologies Ltd. has a multi-disciplinary R&D team comprised of experts in image processing and image acquisition, linguistics and algorithms, as well as experts in functional hardware design. The Company develops, manufactures, and markets easy-to-use, intelligent, hand-held electronic products for the linguistics educational and IT markets. These products combine proprietary high-quality image acquisition and image processing technologies with enhanced language databases."Click for a larger view

Wizcom is one of the few companies who specialize in image processing technologies and apply it to portable handheld scanners.  Their first hit product is something called Quicktionary.  This portable pen shaped scanner allowed people to scan in a word and instantaneously view it's translation in a variety of languages. It became quite popular, selling over 500,000 units.

The product we're taking a look at today is Wizcom's latest product, the QuickLink Pen. This is also a handheld pen scanner, but a much more advanced one.  It can capture any kind of printed text, store it in it's flash memory and then transfer it to a PC, laptop, text-enabled mobile phone or Palm devices such as a Palm Pilot.  You can store up a 1000 pages of text.  It stores regular notes, addresses, Internet URL's and tables and allows you to organize them right on the pen.  You can even upgrade the pen by free software upgrades.  What's amazing is how much functionality Wizcom packed into such a small device.  

We'll be taking a look at most of these functions in detail, but more importantly we'll examine how well the pen works and how useful it really is. 

  Specifications:

Here are the specs for the QuickLink Pen.

 Features:
  • ARM 7 TDMI Processor
  • Optic Head: 128 pixels linear array image sensor - 400 DPI
  • Captures up to 1000 pages of data (8-1/2" x 11" x 12pt font)
  • Recognizes 6-22 point size text, italic, underlined, even inverted text
  • Opticard allows manual text input
  • Auto detects text for instant scanning.  Just roll and scan.
  • Uses either infrared (IrDA) or the Serial Port (9-pin) to transfer data easily.
  • Optical Character Recognition at 97% (based on text size and font)
  • Pen is both upgradeable and expandable through software and hardware upgrades. (ex.  4MB flash upgrade)
 Physical Specifications:
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6" x 1-1/2" x 1"
  • Ergonomically designed for either left or right-handed use
 Comes with:
  • 2MB ROM and 2MB integrated flash memory
  • QuickLink interface software
  • Deatiled User Manual
  • Tutorial Video on CD
  • Quick Reference Card
  • PC Data Cable (RS 232, 9 Pin)
  • Carrying Case (plastic) with Opticard
  • 2 AAA batteries
 Applications:
  • Notes -- a form information database with file management features (Microsoft Outlook compatible)
  • Address Book -- allows you to scan business cards and synchronize your records (Microsoft Outlook compatible)
  • Internet Links -- collects Internet addresses and transfers them to your browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer Favorites compatible)
  • Tables and Charts -- captures and maintain integrity of individual cells with direct input into a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel compatible).

Optional upgrades:

  • Connectivity to Palm Pilot and other PDA's (free software download)
  • Connectivity to Text-Enabled Cellular Phones (free software download)

The pen is no slouch in the feature area; for something so small it sure packs a lot of functionality.  On the next page, we'll take a look at most of it's features in more detail.

Next Page: Features in Depth/User Interface

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