Monday, January 19, 2009

Intelligent Pen -|- Never Miss a Word

LiveScribe's [ ] Never Miss a Word pen is probably the world's most intelligent pen. That not only records, remembers and manage your hand writings but also gives you some extra controls. the 1 and 2 GB versions are bit expensive, 150$/200$ but its really amazing. I am dying for it right now :-)

First of all - a confession. No, two. This is not a brand new launch but as above, it was part of the Last Gadget Standing contest and I had not come across it before. So I can include it. And secondly, yes, I know I love it so much because I am a hack whose shorthand is not what it was.

But this gadget is a fantastic piece of innovation and my favourite from CES.


The Livescribe Pulse smartpen places a computer inside a writing stylus to deliver a pen and voice recorder that remembers everything it writes and syncs it all with your PC.

There is a tiny scanner in the tip of the pen that picks up invisible dots in the special paper to keep a timeline of where the pen comes into contact with the paper. The pen can have its voice recorder activated, so it records audio while the notes are taken and afterwards, simply by touching the pen to any point in the notes, you can play back what was being said at the time.

If this sounds amazing, it is and it works. A journalist colleague swears by the smartpen now. Livescribe sells notebooks of the special Dot Paper, and users can even print out their own Dot Paper using a 600 dpi or greater printer.

Here's a video to help explain (it's a bit cheesy but it is aimed at students).
Also Watch this :

Jim Marggraff, CEO of Livescribe, shows off the 2GB, Java-capable Pulse Smartpen at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. The pen records audio as the user takes handwritten notes, then synchs up the sound with the writing. Audio can then be played back when someone taps the pen on paper. The device also converts languages instantly, playing translations out loud through the embedded speaker or displaying the word on its LED screen. [dont forget to see the last part of this video]

The pen is designed (by some ex-Apple people) to make note-taking - for journos and for students - really easy. What's more, the pen uses handwriting recognition to solve maths questions and translate words. No, I am not making that bit up.

The notes can all be transferred onto your computer using the Livescribe Desktop. The system is Windows compatible and there is a public beta to download for Mac users. A starter pack of the pen, the software, some of the special notebooks and other bits of kits costs around £185 in the UK. The Livescribe website is here.

And that's it. I hope you read this far. I should add that I have not included Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system update because I doubt very much that it will be fully released by the time the next CES comes to an end. So what did I miss?

Capture Everything:

The Pulse smartpen records audio and links it to what you write. Missed something? Tap on your notes or drawings with the tip of your Pulse smartpen to hear what was said while you were writing.

No Need to Lug the Laptop:

The Pulse smartpen automatically captures everything as you write and draw. Transfer your notes to your computer, organize them, and even search for words within your notes. Find what you want in seconds.

Share Your Notes:

Transform your notes and audio into interactive movies. Upload your creations online for everyone to see, hear and play.

What You Get

  • The Pulse smartpen (1.3 ounces, anodized aluminum housing)
  • 2 GB of memory (actual user available memory will be less)
  • Livescribe Desktop software (download)
  • 3-D Recording Headset
  • 100 sheet dot paper college-ruled notebook
  • USB mobile charging cradle
  • Smartpen case
  • 3 black fine point ink cartridges + 1 stylus cartridge
  • Demo card and interactive stickers
  • Interactive Getting Started Guide

What You Need

  • Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.5.5 or newer, Windows XP™ 32-bit SP2 or higher, or Windows Vista™ 32 or 64-bit operating system
  • 600MHz CPU or higher
  • 300 MB minimum free disk space
  • Available USB port
  • Internet connection

Works Only With Livescribe Dot Paper

Bundled Smartpen Software
Paper Replay

Record and replay synchronized ink & audio


Ink capture (without audio)

Quick Record

Quick access audio recording application

Printed Calc

Printed calculator for scientific, financial, and statistical equations

Quick Calc

A simple calculator that can be launched and used on any dot paper

Other Utilities

Time, Date, Storage, Battery and other settings

Nav Plus

5-way navigation and menu system using pre-printed or drawn plus sign

Demo Card

Includes: smartpen movies, 3-D audio samples, translator demo, and paper piano

Additional Software

Additional applications will be made available for sale at

Included Paper and Accessories
  • 100 sheet dot paper college-ruled notebook
  • Smartpen case
  • 3 black fine point ink cartridges + 1 stylus cartridge
System Requirements
  • Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.5.5 or newer, Windows XP™ 32-bit SP2 or higher, or Windows Vista™ 32 or 64-bit operating system
  • 600MHz CPU or higher
  • 300 MB minimum free disk space
  • Available USB port
  • Internet connection
Product Design

Sleek ergonomic design with anodized aluminum housing

Charcoal blue with silver band & black accents


Samsung ARM 9 (32-bit, 150 MHz)


96x18 OLED Display


High speed infrared camera (over 70 images/sec)


1GB NAND (over 100 hours recording time)*

2GB NAND (over 200 hours recording time)*


*Actual available memory will be less.
*Actual recording time varies by audio quality setting.


300 mAH rechargeable lithium (non-removable)

Audio - Record

Dual (embedded) smartpen
microphones - mono recording

3-D Recording Headset - binaural or stereo recording

Audio - Playback

Embedded speaker

Audio jack (2.5mm) for 3-D Recording Headset

Computer Connectivity

USB mobile charging cradle

Size & Weight

Length: 155mm (6.1 in.)

Width: 14mm or 0.55 in. (bottom) to 16mm or 0.63 in. (top)

Weight: 36 Grams (1.3 oz.)

Desktop Software
Livescribe Desktop Computer Desktop Software (download)
  • Page Viewer to search, view and replay notes
  • Pen & application management
  • Gateway to your account, store, and online community
Online Community
Web Apps & Services

My Livescribe Account

250MB Online Storage

Community for posting and sharing content

System Software

Livescribe Paper-Based Computing Platform with Anoto Technology and Java Development Environment

Development Tools

Software Development Kit (SDK) - 2H 2008

Online Application Workshop - 1H 2009

Dot Paper

Interactive Dot Enabled Paper with Dot Positioning System (DPS)

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