Imagine what would happen if your Moleskine-carrying hipster friend and iPad-idolizing nerd friend ran at each other really fast and became one person.
That person would probably be really into so-called paper tablets, which let users sketch and take notes without the constant bombardment of email and app notifications.
No more notification ping-a-ling
The Norwegian hardware startup reMarkable just scored $15m from Spark Capital in a Series A funding round. After 3 years and 100k tablets sold, it’s ready to take a deeper dive into product development.
The $500 tablet has a Linux-based operating system, and its big sell is its handwriting conversion feature, which somehow reads your chicken scratch and transforms it into typed text accessible via a companion app.
ReMarkable’s CEO says the gadget isn’t meant to compete with the iPad and other “do-it-all notification machines.” The point, he says, is to let people focus.
Go dumb or go home
ReMarkable isn’t the only tablet maker playing dumb. Sony’s Digital Paper series mimics the basic mechanics of reading and writing on paper with the added bonuses of being able to share, search, and encrypt documents. Amazon’s Kindle is also trying to compete in this category.
Is a revolution nigh? Probably not. But do these devices offer nice break from an always connected culture? Absolutely.