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A digital pen is a writing instrument that is operated by battery and allows users to capture handwritten notes or drawings. It converts analog information created with pen and paper to a digital form of data, so that it may be used in various applications. They usually have a USB connection for notes to be uploaded to a computer or other device. Some also have wireless functionalities and/or Bluetooth as a means of connection. While a digital pen usually looks like a standard ballpoint pen, it does require a specialized "digital" paper to capture its writing.
Digital pens have features like touch sensitivity, memory, input buttons and electronic erasing capability. A digital pen can be used to write on digital paper, and once done, the user can save what has been written. The pen usually vibrates or beeps as a sign of confirmation that the user has finished a page and the work has been saved. Most digital pens save handwritten work as images in the commonly used GIF or JPEG format. Some, however, use a proprietary format. There are various types of digital pens available on the market like the trackball pen (with a sensor attached to detect the motion of the trackball), camera pen (with camera attached), positional pen (to detect the position of the tip) and active pen. All of these have some special features to differentiate them.