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A crowd-funding campaign for a mobile phone in pen form has raised 575% of its goal already

The Zanco smart pen is available on Kickstarter now. (Source: Zanco)
The Zanco smart pen is available on Kickstarter now. (Source: Zanco)
The Zanco smart pen is a stylus with (nearly) all the features of a smartphone crammed into it. It has physical buttons, a click-pad, front and rear cameras and even a teeny tiny screen. It is intended as a smartphone replacement or companion (much like the Palm phone) and can also function as a Bluetooth remote for screens for purposes such as presentation. So far, it has raised just over US$50,000 on Kickstarter.

These days, the phone-design philosophy appears to encompass form-factors that support as much of a truly fullscreen front panel look as possible, but not much else. Zanco, however, is a start-up that clearly believes customers want something different in their mobile-communications arsenal. To this end, they have introduced the concept of a Smart Pen. This novel object houses all the features of, say, a Nokia nostalgia model into a housing that tapers down to a stylus point.

The Zanco Smart Pen even has physical buttons, something like a D-pad and a tiny 0.96-inch screen (panel type not specified), and crams them into something that can indeed be held like a pen. It is powered by an 'MTK' chipset, which, one presumes, is a low-powered MediaTek processor. The Zanco smart pen also has front and rear cameras, and a microphone that supports voice recording - and also voice-changing for some reason. It has slots for a nanoSIM and a microSD card, although it only supports 2G telephony.

The Smart Pen also has Bluetooth (albeit the 3.0 standard) so that it can be used to control another device's audio. Alternatively, it could act like a remote for a full-screen display. Therefore, Zanco clearly believe its product could have a role in the enterprise arena, as well as that of interesting accessories. It is available now as a reward associated with a Kickstarter campaign, wherein it has made US$50,483 (at the time of writing) of its $8,778 original goal. Therefore, it may be an option for anyone still scrambling for gift ideas, particularly for a gadget-happy loved one. On the other hand, it is still advisable to be wary of vaporware in any campaign like this.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 12 > A crowd-funding campaign for a mobile phone in pen form has raised 575% of its goal already
Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-12-24 (Update: 2018-12-24)