FAQ - Digital Pen & Paper by CubeIQ

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Frequent Asked Questions for Digital Pen & Paper (DP&P) Usage

1. What is the difference between digital paper and regular paper?
Digital paper looks and feels like regular paper. The difference lies in a special pattern of tiny printed dots that give digital paper its ability to capture handwritten words and numbers.

2. Is digital pen and paper technology new?
Digital paper technology was developed by Swedish Company Anoto in 2000. Digital pens were first released by companies like Logitech, Ericsson, and Nokia in 2001.

3. How does digital pen and paper compare to competing technologies?
PDAs and laptop PC technologies have both been around for a while, yet have so far failed to make a real impact on many mobile or remote workforce applications. These options are expensive in terms of specialist hardware and software to accomplish the job as well as in-depth training for the users. In comparison, digital pen and paper is a cost-effective solution that requires little or no training.

4. How does a digital pen work?
A digital pen contains a ball-point ink cartridge and writes like a normal pen. As it writes, the pen uses a miniature internal camera to capture and analyze dots on the digital paper beneath it. By recognizing unique patterns of dots, the pen is able to determine on which page it is writing and where it is on that page. Information about individual pen strokes is stored in pen memory and can be used to reconstruct handwriting upon later upload and processing.

5. Does a digital pen take pictures of ink on digital paper?
No. A digital pen uses images of the dot pattern beneath the pen to calculate and record its precise position on a page. It does not take pictures of the handwritten ink strokes themselves.

6. How does using digital paper compare with writing on a Tablet PC?
Digital paper and Tablet PCs each enable handwritten data entry. Whereas Tablet PCs accomplish this by sensing a stylus on the screen of a portable PC, digital paper records handwriting on regular paper - making it well suited for many applications that currently use paper forms.. Both technologies allow data to be quickly received, authenticated, and integrated with other information systems. While the significantly more expensive tablet PCs excel at interactivity The relative strengths of digital paper are familiarity, ease of use and low cost,

7. Do I need to keep a digital paper form once it has been used?
There is no requirement to keep a digital paper form once it has been used. All the information required to reproduce a digital replica of the form is recorded in the digital pen. Many users choose to keep the paper form as a hardcopy - often for audit or legal signature purposes.

8. Can I use duplicate or triplicate forms with digital paper?
Yes. A digital paper form is written upon with the ball-point ink cartridge of a digital pen. Duplicate or triplicate pages that are attached to a digital paper will function as if they were being used in conjunction with a regular pen and paper form. In some cases the need for additional copies can be reduced with digital paper due to the fact that an electronic replica of the form can now be distributed or retained for record keeping purposes.

9. How many pages will a digital pen hold?
The number of pages of information a digital pen will hold is dependent upon how much handwriting is done on each page. In most cases, a digital pen will record at least 40 pages of handwriting in its memory before needing to be downloaded. In order to alert the user of a full memory condition, a digital pen will vibrate when attempting to record further handwriting.

10. How long does the battery in a digital pen last?
Except in situations of nearly continuous handwriting, a digital pen's batteries will hold a charge for at least a day. Recharging of the pen occurs while it is in its docking cradle and typically takes just a few minutes to accomplish.

11. Why should I consider digital paper when I am trying move away from using paper forms?
Paper still has its place, even in a world of seemingly ubiquitous access to computer technology. The familiarity and flexibility of paper continue to make it a dominant means of collecting information. Digital paper simply makes paper more powerful by automating the way that paper records can be received and processed, allowing data from paper forms to automatically be integrated into information systems without manual re-entry. Additionally, there are areas of business where for process or legal reasons paper must be used - here DP&P combines the traditional paper-based approach with digital data input.

12. How does information get from the pen to me?
Once a pen has been used on your forms, the recorded information can be sent - via Bluetooth or GPRS - to a database that processes your forms. The resulting form images and data are temporarily stored in this secure database specifically designed for your form. The data is then forwarded to you based on your configuration choices. This can all take place in a matter of seconds.

13. What hardware do I need to use for the digital pen and paper?
All you need to use DP&P is a digital pen, a digital form and either a PC/Laptop. Connection to a company intranet or the internet - either wired or wireless - brings addition data management benefits.

14. Do I need to have internet access to use digital pen and paper?
Some DP&P services use the internet as its primary means to communicate and transfer information and access global services. However, local laptop/PC and company intranet solutions are also available that do not rely on the internet.

15. How do I retrieve my data?
Processed data can either be retrieved on demand or delivered to you on a schedule. You can receive the information in any standard or proprietary data format and it can be fully encrypted.

16. How do I integrate my data information into my other information systems?
CubeIQ offers several ways to integrate form data into other information systems. In situations where a database export format is chosen, data can be reviewed within the form database and then ported to another system using the integration tools that work with SQL Server or Access. Alternatively, data can be directly imported into other systems through XML.

17. What types of information can I gather with the digital pen and paper?
Digital pen and paper creates a digital image of each completed form for your reference, records, or reproduction. Beyond the form image, the paper and pen allows you to collect alphanumeric and numeric data, as well as information from checkboxes and lists. Signatures and freehand drawings can be captured and sent digitally. CubeIQ also provides more advanced solutions - incorporating mapping and diagrams.

18. Will the digital pen and paper solution recognize handwriting and turn it into data?
Yes. The digital pen and paper solution uses handwriting recognition technology to convert handwriting to alphanumeric and numeric data. Review and correction of data can then be easily accomplished either via direct manipulation of form data or within an editable document format

19. What data formats does DP&P support?
Data generated by the digital pen and paper can be delivered in XML, SQL Server, Access, and tab delimited text (TXT) formats.

20. Can I print digital paper forms myself or save them to my computer?
Yes. Digital forms can be printed from any software package capable of printing PNG (portable network graphics) files - although there are printer and ink specification requirements to be considered. We can provide competitive form printing for all business requirements.

21. Is there a limit to how many forms I can use?
There is no limit to the number digital forms you can use, nor is there a limit to the different types of forms that you can implement.

22. Can I try the digital pen and paper before making a decision to use it?
Yes. The technology makes it easy to see if digital paper will work for you and CubeIQ can devise an initial demonstration to help you assess the benefits in your business.

23. How long do trials of the digital pen take on average?
Most trials or digital pen pilots take no more than one or two weeks.

24. Are these trials conducted at your cost?
If a trial is arranged it is usually paid for by the clients as this helps organizations to prioritize and manage resources to gain the most from the trial. Any costs associated with such a trial are usually deductible from follow-on orders.

25. How do I create new digital forms if I want to replace my old forms?
The process for creating a new form starts with the submission of an existing form and an accompanying form definition template. Following your approval of a draft form, which would be a re-creation of your current version of the form complete with any changes or updates that you may require, CubeIQ would organize the printing of the form on the digital paper. Once ready your new digital forms will be shipped to you.

26. How do I change an existing digital form?
Changes to a digital form will result in the creation of a new digital form from CubeIQ. The new forms are printed with a new dot pattern to avoid potential conflict with any prior forms that remain in service.

27. How long does it take to get a digital form designed and running?
Design of a new digital form can vary depending on form complexity and is therefore scheduled at the time an order is submitted. Projects are usually completed and digital forms shipped within 10 working days of your approval of the form.

28. What does it cost to use digital forms?
We can quickly assess your particular needs and provide and an upfront and recurring cost schedule for your DP&P solution. Costs vary depending on number and complexity of individual forms and the number of pen/users in the system.

29. I work for a small business. Will digital pen and paper work for me?
Digital pen and paper is well suited for the needs of smaller businesses or departments. As there is less comparative costs associated with the technology and less investment required in expensive implementation tools and processing hardware. Digital forms are cost effective in low volume, enabling you to get benefits on even the smallest applications.

30. I work for a large corporation. Will digital pen and paper work for me?
Digital pen and paper can yield significant benefits for larger organizations. The technology can deliver high return on investment (ROI) by automating form management and data keying operations, especially on forms that are used in remote locations. Digital pen and paper is very saleable and well suited for large installations. It can easily integrate with your existing electronic document management system (EDMS) or integrate with other information systems on a standalone basis. CubeIQ data handling and software development expertise will help you get the most out of the technology. Digital pen and paper will handle bulk data collection processes effortlessly and without the need for time consuming, expensive data re-entry therefore streamlining and speeding up data availability and transfer.

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