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The pen that corrects your handwriting

However simple an everyday object may be, somebody, somewhere has a desire to make a digital version with wifi transmitting capacity so you can hook it up to the internet. There are a disturbing number of inventors out there who want to give our most basic tools the power to rule our lives.

Just as we were absorbing the idea of the smart fork that slows down if it disapproves of the rate at which you are shovelling up your chips, news arrives of a pen that will attempt to correct your handwriting, tell you how to spell and ridicule your grammar.

The Lernstift is the brainchild of inventor Falk Wolsky and his child care worker wife Mandy. They wanted a device that would help their son overcome his problems with handwriting.

Without venturing into the realms of child psychology, it seems that their prototype pen might be more than a little demoralising for any child’s confidence. The vibrating pen has two modes of correction. Calligraphy Mode detects errors in handwriting form and legibility, while Orthography Mode criticises spelling and grammar by detecting words, symbols and gestures.

The vision is of some hapless child attempting to write a few sentences, only to be interrupted every few seconds with a stern, authoritarian buzz from their know-it-all pen. As a curb to creativity it would be difficult to conceive of a more effective device.

It gets worse. The inventors envisage their pen having a wireless transmission function so it can report details of mistakes and problems to teachers and parents, like the class telltale in your hand. No longer will idly doodling an obscene drawing in a notebook offer the traditional relaxing respite from hours of homework.

The Wolskys are seeking crowd-sourcing finance to make the Lernstift commercially viable. Millions of schoolchildren worldwide are probably hoping it never happens.

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