iSketchnote: gesture drawing and digital memory


How to reconcile pleasure of freehand drawing and writing with capacity to digitally conserve all technical parameters of gestures to be able to do all kind of later modifications? This is the challenge taken up by iSketchnote, a product developed by young French start-up iskn that takes shape of a double tablet with a screen and a slate, a digital surface capturing data from all sorts of writing/drawing supports (notepads, paper sheet) set on it, with the help of a specially conceived and designed pen which position and orientation information is tracked in real time by an innovative magnet ring.

Soon commercialised by iskn, after benefiting from a very successful fundrising on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter a few months ago (350,000 $ in less than 30 days!), iSketchnote is not only the proof of a real technological achievement. It grants as well a creation process gathering artists and engineers from CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) of Grenoble - dedicated to research in micro and nanotechnologies - within Atelier Arts Sciences, where all the story of the device has just begun.

Isketchnote, nanotechnologies, atelier arts sciences
The magnet embedded in the pen creates a magnetic field which is captured by each sensor. This data is computed to deduce the pen’s exact position and orientation.

The project has indeed started in 2012 during residence of graphic artist Matt B around a scheme of acrylic digital painting. ”Matt B wanted to be able to digitize in real time his plastic creations”, said Michel Ida, CEO of open innovation at CEA. “We have then developed this tool and quickly realised the potential of its economic benefits for innovative industries”. Besides the artistic project and the successful fundrising, the company iskn has been created by Jean-Luc Vallejo, initially product manager at CEA, and has given priority to the design of a mobile and comfortable product, and to the development of a software compatible with iPad, PC, Android and Mac, allowing to share information on social networks: All that makes an excellent example of artistic, technological and commercial hybridization.


Laurent Catala


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