It’s not often that you come across a startup in the education space that isn’t building a SaaS product or platform but an actual device. Lernstift (learning pen) from Germany is one of the few that do. In order to create their first batch of products the founders are currently aiming to raise £120k via Kickstarter.
Though there is a lot of discussion going on about teaching handwriting or cursive on both sides of the Atlantic, pen and paper are still the dominant “education tool” in today’s classroom. Hence it probably makes sense to augment the process of learning how to write with some technology.
Lernstift is going to feature two modes. One that corrects the spelling and one that helps to develop better handwriting. If the student makes a spelling mistake or writes a letter that is not really recognizable, the pen will vibrate and therefore help the learner to recognize a mistake the moment she made it.
Of course, this is not the end but just the beginning. The inbuilt technology in form of a mini Linux computer will enable the pen to connect to smartphones and computers, opening a whole new set of possibilities like learning applications for grammar, social learning features and so on.
Developers will be able to write custom applications, accessing Lernstift over an open API. Lernstift will also get software updates over the air which means that even the earliest versions will always be up-to-date, similar to Android devices like the Nexus 4 or 7 by Google.
Another nifty feature: Lernstift also comes with exchangeable writing tips: pencil, fountain pen and ballpoint. At launch Lernstift is going to support two languages, English and German, but the team plans to expand the languages as soon as possible.
If you want to get one of the first Lernstifts make sure to pledge £99 on Kickstarter before Friday, August 9th. Remember, Kickstarter will only charge you if Lernstift reaches its funding goal of £120.000 – they are currently at £20.000 with 19 days left. The team estimates that early backers of the project are going to receive their Lernstift in December 2013.
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