MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Interview with DSC Contributor Member Montblanc
Please introduce yourself briefly.
I’m currently a member of the Digital Stationery Consortium (DSC) Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the DSC’s Customer Use-Cases Work Group, and the Associate Director of New Technologies at Montblanc, where I focus on the digital products business. Montblanc represents the heritage of 110 years spent focusing on the beauty of writing. We firmly believe that writing in your own hand with high precision writing instruments, perfect ink, and beautiful paper will always be a human desire. Three years ago, we started our digital product journey at Montblanc. As we look to innovate our product areas around digital implementations, the DSC is a good place to ensure that we are part of driving this development.
What is Digital Stationery’s impact on Montblanc’s business and products?
At Montblanc, we talk a lot about the “golden triangle of writing.” The golden triangle of writing consists of a writing instrument, paper, and the ink itself. However, we see digital technology becoming an essential part of the triangle. The digital world is so ingrained in the lives of the next generation of users that we cannot neglect it. Rather, digital is becoming a tremendous part of our business.
As we look at digital offerings, we see that digital ink is really smart data; paper becomes another digital surface, like a tablet or a smartphone; and the writing instrument is the only thing that because of its tactility remains more or less the same. So for us, it’s very important to establish a universal digital ink framework, and become as well-known for our digital ink applications as we are with traditional ink, writing instruments, and paper. Montblanc is renowned for its ability to make the most exclusive ink in the world, and we are striving to make this happen for our digital ink applications as well.
Montblanc has joined the Digital Stationery Consortium (DSC) at Contributor level. What first brought you to the DSC, and why did you decide to become a member?
There are a couple of reasons Montblanc joined the DSC. Paper is not permanent. But, you can find paper everywhere, and you can write and express your thoughts everywhere. If you look at digital ink in this context, it is much harder to have it act as ubiquitous technology. There are different digital ink standards, devices, and writing instruments. So our ambition as a DSC Contributor member is to innovate around the analog world’s classic stationery set – ink, paper, and writing instrument – by bringing it into the digital world.
Would other types of companies benefit from joining the DSC?
The future of digital ink is so broad that there shouldn’t necessarily be a restriction on the number or types of companies joining the DSC. It makes sense for a wide range of companies to band together to make digital ink a universal framework, including startups, which are known for their innovative ideas, academics, which are part of the research community, and corporations, like Montblanc, that can turn innovations into reality on a global scale.
It is also fitting to have cross-industry collaboration from traditional stationery providers of writing instrument, paper, and ink, as well as technology, hardware, software, and cloud service providers that are working to improve how we use devices, digitizers, digital pens, and more.
You are currently the vice chair of the DSC Customer Use-Cases Work Group. Please tell us a little bit about what the group is working on and who should get involved?
In the Customer Use-Cases Work Group, we are interested in emerging digital ink components, applications, and services. For the time being, we are actively focusing on the use-case of note-taking. Now that we have digital ink, we can explore new ways to “take notes” within digital, augmented, virtual and animated worlds, while retaining the analog ability of traditional ink, writing instruments and paper notebooks. The Use-Cases Work Group is focusing on finding new universal digital ink use-cases and combining them with new technologies, like artificial intelligence, which is rapidly evolving.