Pen vibrates when you misspell or use bad grammar

Summary:This Linux-powered pen contains a standard ballpoint pen, motion sensors, and a hundred dollars worth of smartphone electronics.

I know my penmanship has suffered a lot since my early high school days of writing essays on college-ruled lined paper. And with autocorrect or spell check, there are some words that I’ve just never remembered how to spell (sadly).

Now there’s a pen that hopes to bring handwriting back by vibrating when you spell something wrong or make a grammatical error. Or when your writing is just plain illegible.

The Lernstift -- German for "learning pen" -- contains a standard ballpoint pen and uses motion sensors to trace movements and detect errors. It’s powered by Linux and contains between €50 and €80 (or $68 to $109) worth of smartphone electronics in a thermoplastic or aluminum body.

  • In Calligraphy Mode, it warns of mistakes in penmanship.
  • In Orthography Mode it detects spelling and grammatical errors -- vibrating once for the former and twice for the latter.

The inventors are launching a crowdfunding project and say that the first generation of Lernstift -- with motion sensors and a word recognition system -- will be available this August.

[Via Gizmag, Wired]

Image: Lernstift

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Janet Fang has written for Nature, Discover and the Point Reyes Light. She is currently a lab technician at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter.

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