If you don’t have young kids (or even if you do) you may not be familiar with this new reading learning system from VTech. Basically each printed book comes with a chip that you insert into a reader (shaped like a catepillar- named “Bugsby”). When you touch the reader to the page it reads the word that you touch. It can also read the whole story or identify the pictures and characters that the story revolves around. Here’s the webpage with a demo for the product:
What I can’t figure out is how the technology works. The pen does not need “scan” across the word, so it’s not optically recognizing the printed word. It doesn’t seem positionally based, since it works even if you fold the pages up. There doesn’t seem to be anything inserted into the paper stock itself, since it’s realtively thin and you can “see” through the paper and any wires or circuits would be visible.
I can’t find any source on the web discussing how it works so I’m hoping someone here has some insights before I go nutty from being stumped…