Information is not just numbers and tick boxes

28 February 2008

Personal signatures have long been accepted as evidence of individuals' agreement or verification. Capturing and archiving their loops and swirls can still be important in some rental transactions, but how do you easily do so?

Rental companies that want to capture signatures and other writing might want a digital pen and paper system from software developers Touchstone Group or inspHire. Both UK companies have partnered with Destiny Wireless to provide a system that gives customers paper delivery and collection notes, but also digitises the information for the rental company.

The system uses a special grid–marked paper and a digital pen. A mini–camera scans writing on the paper, and captures coordinate data from the gridlines. The data can either be transmitted back immediately – for live applications – using blue–tooth enabled mobile phone or stored in the pen for downloading at the depot.

The pen is a one–function device, costs around half the price of a PDA, and doesn't have the attraction of a PDA for a thief. Plus, as Chris Town, recently appointed head of Touchstone's new rental and construction business division, says, “A lot of contractors still like a piece of paper at the end of the day,” and rental companies might want immediate access to a signed proof of delivery.

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