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Review: Canson Papershow elevates digital flipcharts, amazes crowds!


It’s no secret that I give talks to various groups, and I do lots of them in a month. So I’m always open to looking into new technologies that can help me present certain concepts in a more efficient fashion – and wow audiences when possible.

One example of this is the 3M Portable Projector which I reviewed a couple of days ago. Truth is, more than my Keynote or Powerpoint, one effective tool has always been the good ‘ol flip chart which I have abandoned since the day of the acetate, because apart from being not very portable, it was a waste of paper.

Let me share with you a really kick ass product called the Canson Papershow. Click below to read the full review.



The guys from Canson, a UK based company sent over a neat little thing – the Papershow, an easy to use “digital flipchart” which you can use together with your Powerpoint presentation or independently. It’s a beautiful piece of technology and I’m all geeked out to have one in my bag.


Canson Papershow Demo from jayvee Fernandez on Vimeo.

[Alternate YouTube version of the same demo]

Inside the box is a rather peculiar set: a plastic “fountain pen,” a USB dongle and two sets of paper: a ream of A4 and a ream of letter paper all neatly stacked up into traditional flip chart binding. The USB port connects directly to your PC (sorry, no Mac version yet) and self installs the application. It takes roughly 3 minutes to set up the application, and the Papershow app runs immediately after you connect it into a pre-installed computer. The dongle is actually a Bluetooth receiver that connects the digital pen to the computer. Removing the pen cover turns the device on and the dongle immediately initiates a pairing with the pen.

The pen was designed like a fountain pen to accommodate a sensor that works with the special paper. Nope, this is no ordinary paper. Although it does look like it. I’ve been showing off the technology like it was street magic to several friends who had laptops and I must say, they ALL couldn’t believe what they saw.

I asked the developers how they were able to do this on paper and here’s a quote I lifted off their email reply:

“The paper has microscopic black dots that the infrared camera in the pen reads 75 times a second, this is called Anoto technology. The Bluetooth technology in the pen then transmits what the camera is reading (what you are writing, drawing, etc.) to the USB drive in the computer, and if the computer is hooked up to an overhead projector, what you are writing on the paper is seen directly on the screen. You can be up to 20 feet away from your computer presenting with the paper and pen.”

How much does this technology cost? Well right now it can only be bought from Staples but will be sold online this February. The costs of the device and refills are listed below:

Canson Papershow $199
For 200 sheets of presentation paper $19.98
For the smaller sized brainstorming pad $12.98
For the larger sized brainstorming pad $19.98
Canson Papershow Website

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

10 replies on “Review: Canson Papershow elevates digital flipcharts, amazes crowds!”

this product is actually, kinda cool. as an artist who also does work on paper, i figure, i can sketch – say a study on that special paper and have it immediately projected onto a bigger plane… say an empty canvas. i figure it makes it faster for an artist to see a study blown unto a bigger canvas for final painting. really cool. 🙂

i once used a projector to place unto a big canvas an image drawn on a smaller scale and it sucked. the thing was, i had to draw my study on an acrylic sheet or tracing paper that project the image.

really cool gadget.

thanks for the feedback. i really couldn’t believe my eyes at first. the tactile feedback is amazing — as it really IS a regular pen with a sensor built inside. please do spread the word about this product — so far it isn’t available locally yet but you can order it online.

right now i think you can use the colors ONLY from the software. i dont think the app allows you to customize colors just yet. its really more for flipchart purposes. 🙂

This looks quite similar to my Livescribe Pulse which also uses Anoto technology (even the Leap Frog toy product line for toddlers use it too) but yours is cooler because you can actually do a live “pencast” while the Pulse requires you to sync the contents from the pen to the desktop client (Windows or OS X) and upload it to the Livescribe servers.

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