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Pen Technology is Mightier Than the Sword

authors Ron St. Angelo and Norm Hitzges signing copies of their new book for attendees while in the comfort of their Dallas homes. The feat was made possible by Toronto-based Unotchit's LongPen.

If you attended the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, you might have "seen" authors Ron St. Angelo and Norm Hitzges signing copies of their new book for attendees while in the comfort of their Dallas homes. The feat was made possible by Toronto-based Unotchit's LongPen.

Attracting attention in the rental and staging, corporate, and digital signage markets, the LongPen is comprised of two units: a writer kiosk and a broadcast unit. Via a videoconferencing system, a person signs a tablet on the broadcast unit and the signature travels via Internet to the kiosk location, where a robotic arm transcribes it onto paper or merchandise. Although Unotchit is in partnership with Tandberg for its videoconferencing services, the LongPen works with any display or videoconferencing hardware.

AV integrators could use LongPen, for example, in a retail store's digital signage network. "By integrating LongPen, a celebrity chef could appear in a flagship store, teaching [an audience] how to make chicken fricassee and be broadcast to the entire network" of chain stores, says Martin Warren, vice president of sales at Unotchit. After the lesson, fans could line up at a kiosk for an autograph. As the first production units come off the assembly line, a pilot system is currently in use at a new Borders concept store in Ann Arbor, Mich. The MSRP for the writer kiosk is $37,000,which includes the videoconferencing hardware, robotics, and screen. The broadcast unit retails for $10,000.



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