We've been talking about higher performance SoCs for quite a while now, but the number of applications for these things beyond making your UI faster is fairly limited today. With faster hardware comes more demanding software, and earlier today I got a glimpse of a pretty neat application that Qualcomm is looking at.
 
The technology comes from a company called epos. The device is a pen with two ultrasonic transmitters in it. You can write with the pen on any surface (e.g. a piece of paper) and use the microphone in your smartphone to pick up the sound signature emitted by the pen. 
 
Pair it all up with some processing on Qualcomm's dual-core SoC and you can write on a piece of paper and have it automatically transcribe on your smartphone.
 
There are no changes that need to be made to the smartphone, you can rely on the standard microphone that ships on all smartphones. Epos mentioned that its software can pick up the pen's signature from a radius of around 30 cm from the mic. 
 
 
The technology is pretty cool and I can see a number of real world applications for it. If you wanted a pen-and-paper feel but want your notes to be stored digitally, this is one option. Qualcomm mentioned that we could see smartphones or tablets featuring this technology starting next year. 
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