“I’m looking at all these tablets out there, like the iPad, and seeing the seeds of a future Modbook Pro user,” Haas said. “Almost everyone has an iPad or iPhone. I wouldn’t want to live without it. But as a company, we are looking at a very distinct niche. The creative industry does not have a product that meets their need to draw on a real computer’s screen and have it be portable. It’s just not out there.”
Like most, I quit paying attention to the Modbook on the day that Apple announced the iPad. However, I still find it interesting because it can still do one thing that the iPad cannot do that well: handwritten input.
When I was in school, I really wanted to be able to use my iPad to replace pen and paper for note-taking. It would allow me to only have to carry one thing with me to class and I would always have access to any of my notes. I used apps like Penultimate for years, but in my last semester I turned back to pen and paper.
The iPad works great for taking notes in classes where you can type things out; For my science and math based courses, this was never an option. I need to write out math equations and draw figures.
What I was really wanting for this task is a tablet option that would let me do two things:
- Write on the screen with close to the same precision as writing on paper (without having to resort to hacks like zooming or large input boxes that shrink your writing).
- Palm recognition so I could rest my hand on the screen like I would a piece of paper.
The first is not possible using the large-tipped capacitive touch styli that are available for the iPad now and the second is not possible to do with 100% reliability using Apple’s public APIs.
The ModBook Pro looks as if it can do these things. I don’t have a need for something like this now that I am out of school, but this type of technology is still interesting to me. I really hope this type of input becomes easier to actually do on iOS devices in the future.