SmartQuill - 1997

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.



Improving on the Cocktail Napkin - Microsoft

SmartQuill with VGA display 1998

Wired on the SmartQuill 1998

From the Palm to the Pen

SmartQuill Patent - -1997 US  6,956,564

SmartQuill CNN



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.