In recent times, there have been faint mutterings that the sketchbook could eventually become extinct, as the rise of smartphones and tablets — particularly the latest iPad, with its long-awaited Apple Pencil — erodes the perceived need for good, old-fashioned pens and paper. However, it seems that reports of the sketchpad’s demise have been greatly exaggerated: Moleskine sees a harmonious future for both paper and digital devices, harnessing the technology of the tablet while preserving the tactile quality of its more traditional counterpart.
Moleskine’s new Smart Writing Set comprises three elements — the Paper Tablet notebook, the smart Pen+ and a companion App for your electronic device that enables seamless integration between the sketchbook and your phone or tablet. This trailer hints at the incredibly satisfying ‘real-time’ paper-to-tablet conversion, and reveals just how intuitive such a tool could be for architects sketching in their studio, on the commute or at the building site.
How does it work? A small infrared camera is integrated into the pen’s design that tracks every stroke with absolute precision. It also recognizes which page you are on so you can draw and write freely without the need to manually archive each generated file. The thick, resistant 100g/m2 paper provides that textured quality missing from the glass screens of today’s electronic devices, while the pen sports a tapered tip that evokes a classic fountain pen.
Once your sketch is finished, the App allows you to save it as a JPEG or PDF, and by syncing with the Google Drive or Evernote cloud, the rest of your design team can instantly view your handiwork. The Smart Writing Set isn’t just for drawing, either — jot down your to-do list, meeting notes or the snag list from your site inspection, and convert them to a text document on your tablet with the click of a button.
Is this every architect’s dream sketchbook? For those that enjoy the traditional feel of paper with the benefits of today’s technology, it might be just that …