SmartPens look like chubby ballpoint pens. They have a sensor tracking the pen's position on paper that has been printed with a special grid as background. When the pen is docked after completing a form, a PDF showing your handwriting on the form is automatically created, ready for emailing or posting online. An alternative to docking the pen in a USB cradle is sending the completed form data to a central location using Bluetooth® connectivity to your cell phone.


ChasmTech uses the Anoto Live DP-201 digital pen, with an internal Li-ion battery, supporting a minimum of 2 hours continuous writing, with a practical maximum of 4 hours reported. In stand-by mode, the battery will power the pen for minimum 10 hours. The battery is recharged by docking the pen in its cradle which has a USB connector. You can recharge the pen in your vehicle by plugging the cradle into standard vehicle USB adapters.

Putting the cap on the pen triggers a mechanical switch, turning the pen off. The battery is not used when the pen is turned off. The operating environment for the DP-201 is from -15C (5F) to +45C (113F).

The pen features three LEDS, indicating power status (on/off), Bluetooth status and battery status. It can also vibrate to indicate problems. The pen uses standard blue ink, you can use it as a regular ballpoint pen. When used to write on forms that have been printed for smartpens (see below), the pen tracks what you write. Once the pen is docked into its cradle that is attached to a PC, the pen stoke data is transferred to the PC for processing. 

Using a SmartPen

You can use SmartPens on forms and documents printed on standard paper.

The printer must be a PostScript-3 compatible laser printer using carbon-based black toner; most laser printers used in an office environment will work.

Documents for SmartPens must be printed using the provided printer driver, which adds a special dot pattern background that SmartPens use to track document ID and the position of the pen on the document.

ChasmTech’s SmartPens have no buttons or screens; they work exactly as a regular ballpoint pen. Take the cap off and start writing on the form; put the cap back on when you are finished. At the end of the day you dock the pen into its USB cradle, and your handwriting information will be transferred to the computer, where FullCircle SmartInk or SmartForms will start processing it.