reMarkable: The First Revolutionary E-Ink Writing Tablet
Around 17 billion cubic ft of trees are deforested yearly. 60% of them serve to produce paper. At one time, paper might have been the closest thing to technology, but today, it’s a perilous practice in need of eradication. With the arrival of technology, suitable paper alternatives knocked on society’s doors.
Whilst the choice of tablets, PCs, and laptops massively expanded, no device comes as close to using paper as Magnus Haug Wanberg’s reMarkable writing tablet!
reMarkable replaces the ordinary notebook with a digital one. It uses technology that helps users take handwritten notes, read, and review files. It comes with a display so thin and light - it feels just like paper. The tablet converts handwritten notes into text, adds notes to PDF files, offers eye-friendly reading, and is accessible to all devices!
Buckle up for the story of a Norwegian genius who got reinventing and ultimately created a digital notebook that is as close to paper as it gets!
Magnus Haug Wanberg was born in 1985, in a Norwegian family. They lived in Trondheim, a beautiful town located in the central part of Norway, one of the oldest cities in the country. It is known for its traditional culture, its urban area, and mostly for its futuristic look for science, inventions, and technology.
Magnus's parents both worked at private tech companies. The products the companies created were meant to contribute to maintaining the city’s tech market and advance the growth of technology-friendly businesses.
Growing up surrounded by technology, Magnus developed a deep passion for computers from very early on. Even though he was still young, Magnus’s mom and dad were constantly training him to use a computer, get the proper education and practice his acquired skills.
At the time, the technology sector grew faster than ever before, which made it easier for Magnus to find all resources he needed and learn as he grew. While still in high school, he started to show interest in coding, played lots of video games, and had the desire to build the latest technological wonders.
Magnus was an intelligent boy who was also interested in management, business, innovative science, and economics. At school, at home, and elsewhere, Magnus tried his best to absorb as much knowledge as possible and kick off his professional journey.
How Everything Started
When the time came for Magnus to go to college, he decided to make a change and leave Trondheim. As someone with an adventurous personality, Magnus wanted to travel, meet new people, share his opinions and ideas, and boost his experience. That’s why Mangus thought it would be suitable for him to spend some time in Oslo and inspect the business climate in Norway’s capital.
Magnus enrolled at the University of Oslo and was focused on expanding his knowledge in Entrepreneurial Studies. Aside from studying, he also made time to socialize with his peers and learn their take on technology and business. From 2005 to 2011, Magnus underwent a series of lifestyle changes. He first traveled back to his hometown, Trondheim, and then enrolled at the NTNU - the University of Science and Technology - to further broaden his education. While there, he was lucky enough to be sent on an exchange program in the USA, to visit the Institute of Technology in Massachusetts where he completed his Ph.D. level studies.
As if that wasn’t enough, Magnus also earned an MBA in marketing, innovation, strategy, and finance at Harvard Business School, and backed it up by taking computer science and economics courses at the same facility.
The ‘Aha’ Moment
While Magnus was still in the USA, he got employed as an independent consultant at a management consulting company in Boston. Working there, Magnus was surprised by two facts. First, the way people were becoming more addicted to digital devices like tablets, phones, and laptops.
Second, Magnus couldn’t help but wonder why tech-equipped businesses still used ‘paper people’ to manage their paperwork manually. Magnus began wondering if there was a solution that could be done to simplify and organize written notes. He both wanted to rid people of having to manually process written paperwork and to also enhance business productivity by introducing digital writing devices. His brainstorming led him to begin creating a business concept that would put the use of paper to an end and take it all the way to digitalization.
The reMarkable Concept
Once Magnus completed his Master’s studies in his hometown, he moved back to Oslo to try and realize his idea into practice. On his way there, Magnus gathered a team of creatives from college, and together, they started working on a very remarkable idea. The idea came to life in 2013, when reMarkable - the company - was officially founded.
However, in the first several years, Magnus and his team were constantly working on designing their designated product and perfecting it. But, they had a huge challenge in front of them. The E-ink company in Taiwan that reMarkable was collaborating with at the time thought the concept of writing, drawing, reading, and sketching on the tablet was a concept impossible to attain.
Still, Magnus was not giving up on his brainchild, so he put extra work on product development, which took another few years. Once he had a supreme prototype in his hands, he showcased it to the Taiwan engineers - and they were both fascinated and ready to support it in any way they could.
The official launch of the reMarkable tablet took place in 2017.
Following the release, the remarkable tablet 1 faced a lot of difficulties in use. Some included the tablet’s short-span battery life, its inability to erase unnecessary information, and the still weakly implemented E Ink technology. To mend the issue, the company launched a descending tablet, the reMarkable 2. This time around, the tablet came equipped with a three times stronger battery that lasts for an entire week, a refined E Ink reprogramming featuring a second-generation CANVAS display, and tons of new accessories attached to the device itself, with the help of a magnet.
The Company Status
Day by day, reMarkable kept growing and expanding and the demand for their product escalated on a larger scale than expected. Throughout the years, Magnus’ paper tablet was sold in more than 100,000 copies. The smart tablet design was created for all those who enjoyed working on paper yet wanted to add a dash of practicality, efficiency, and quality to their work.
reMarkable has a total funding amount of $24 million, gathered in over 2 funding rounds. StartupLab and Spark Capital are the two main investors that financially supported the company.
Today, the company’s main offices are based in Oslo and count over 100 employees. Many students, lawyers, professionals, teachers, and professionals are proudly using the paper tablet and love the way it works - just like paper without having to sacrifice trees for it.
The digital paper tablet is sold and used across Europe as well as Asia, the USA, Australia, and practically - the world. reMarkable has earned its fair share of awards. It won Time’s Best Invention of 2020 reward and was voted Mashable’s top gadget choice.
Is he called Magnificent Magnus yet? If not, he sure deserves the title, for an innovator like Magnus does not happen to the tech world very often. With a pure business vision instilled in him, Magnus’s invention saves the environment, digitalizes manual tasks for companies worldwide, and makes the way we use technology vs paper - a bit more reMarkable!