"How about a web-pad like device, with a screen you can write on with a stylus? It would store each 'page' as a vector image, your writing would show on the screen just as if you were writing on paper. Such a device would have several useful features, you could 'highlight' sections for cross-referencing or searching later. Mark your homework assignmments with an electronic tag, and a small gui interface tucked along the bottom margin (or wherever) could be used to display anything marked as 'homework' (or equations, or comments, or whatever) on one page. Date and time stamping would be trivial. You could organise like crazy, download notes from your friend's pad, maybe someday directly from an electronic 'blackboard' where the professor is drawing something hideously complicated.
This device, as I picture it, would entirely replace a paper notebook. You could draw, write, tag, and so on, in a limited selection of colors (16, 32?) so that images would be small. Remember, there is no interpretation of what you write - no OCR or handwriting recognition, just what you write, saved and organised. (Though some sort of OCR or grafiti type recognition may be available to apply to notes if you want to try and export them to some word processing format.)
Logic requirments would be minimal, a few microdrives or future high-capacity memory would store the images incrementally as you write A backlit display would be nice but not necessary. A standard communications inteface (or three, USB, ethernet, infrared) would allow connecting to other notebooks or a PC. Thats all you would need, but I am sure a thousand note and academic type applications could be written for such a device. (Calculator, mp3 player, running as an overlay to your page of notes.)
I'd love to hear other ideas, comments, etc, on such a device. Would it sell? Would it be useful, is the idea practical?
If you have the means to manufacture such a thing, please take my idea and run - just send me one when they go into production.Thanks all."