Invented by Lyndsay Williams April 1997 - Financed by BT Labs Martlesham June 1997-98
Last Update 6th March 2008
Original Patent plus images US6956564B1smartquill.pdf
3rd March 2008 - Apple buys SmartQuill Patent as here
The SmartQuill was a working prototype pen computer. My goal were to encapsulate an entire handheld computer in a pen. It allowed capture of handwriting and a special gravity controlled screen allowed the user to view documents by moving the computer in the hand. I also wanted to replace the mouse with motion sensing. I invented it in April 1997 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire I exchanged emails with BT re my invention and in June 1997- Oct 98 worked for BT Labs, Martlesham, UK, Sensior Research Fellow, to build a working prototype.
The SmartQuill had an accelerometer or tilt sensor , an Analog Devices ADXL202 , the function was to allow the user to tilt the pen and scroll through the pages. The images could be inverted and changed from portrait to landscape.
The pen could achieve up to 96% handwriting recognition accuracy as here ( software by B Milner)
I then left BT and was asked to work for Microsoft in 1998.
SmartQuill Patent - -1997 US 6,956,564
Original SmartQuill Designs April 1997 invented by Lyndsay Williams in Leighton Buzzard, Beds.
Models designed by lyn, manufactured by BT
SmartQuill with Kopin VGA display
The above shows the tilting screen. As pen is swapped from left to right hand, the image is inverted. This technology can be used to scroll through pages etc. Note the LCD font on the left hand side image is created entirely by inverted LCD dot matrix characters, just for demonstration purposes. About half of the 26 letters of the alphabet work inverted.