Tag Archives | LiveScribe

Livescribe’s Echo Smartpen Acts Like a Graphics Tablet

Smartpen maker Livescribe has released Paper Tablet, a new app for its $169.95 Echo model that lets you connect the pen to a PC or Mac via its USB cable and write or draw directly into desktop applications. As always with Livescribe pens, you write on special paper (which you can buy or print on your own laser printer) with tiny dots that let the pen identify where it is on the page.

Paper Tablet doesn’t exactly render Wacom’s nifty graphic tablets obsolete–for one thing, it’s not pressure-sensitive, so it’s not well-suited to serious art. But it sounds handy if you need to sign or annotate a digital document occasionally or want to try doodling in a paint program. (It’s not, however, compatible with all features of Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator.) Unlike a Wacom, it lets you write or draw with real ink on real paper.

The app is $14.99 and works only with the Echo (the USB jack on the older Pulse model is on the barrel, where it would interfere with your hand).

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LiveScribe’s Pulse Smart Pen Adds Mac Support, Other New Features

livescribe1LiveScribe’s Pulse is the latest entrant in a gadget category whose history is pock-marked with flops: the smart pen. As with previous entrants, it’s a sort of Tablet PC without the PC–you write with Pulse on specially-marked paper, and can then transfer your handwritten notes in electronic-ink form to a computer, where they’re archivable and searchable. More intruiging, Pulse is also a high-quality voice recorder, and it synchronizes your notes with its audio recordings so you can, for instance, refer to what you wrote at a particular point during a lecture you recorded.

I have to admitting that while Pulse is by far the most practical smart pen to date and I’m rooting for it to find an audience, I’m still not sure if the whole category is worth pursuing. In theory, it’s easier to put a pen in your pocket than to tote a notebook, but the need for special paper eliminates some of the grab-and-go convenience that Pulse might otherwise have. And some of its tricks seem more amazing than practical: You can do things such as write a math problem and have it read the answer, or jot a word in English and have it read a translated version. Neat–but cell phones can achieve similar results, without requiring you to wrangle the pen and paper. Ultimately, I kind of wonder if Pulse should be marketed as a voice recorder that happens to have additional features, rather than a pen that happens to record voices.

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The Next Item in Your “Smart” Life–The Smart Pen

Probably the coolest item I saw at the Pepcom press event last night is actually something that’s been out for almost three months now, but has pretty much flown under the radar. It’s called the LiveScribe Pulse Smartpen, and for those of us who frequently take notes (::cough:: me ::cough::), it could make our lives ten times easier. Note-taking can be a tedious process, and even the fastest transcribers can still miss a word.

With this little device, that is going to be hard to do. Simply put it is a computer within a pen, which simultaneously captures the handwriting of the user while recording audio. Thus, a user just needs to tap on the portion of the writing where they would like to review the accompanying audio, and the pen knows where it is.

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