back to article Livescribe Pulse Smartpen

Who would have thought something as basic as the pen could be up for a geek-friendly makeover? The folk behind the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, obviously, because what they’ve come up with is a pen which can record your writing and anything you or others say, and then squirt it all into a computer for keeping and sharing. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually, it is very useful.

    On a meeting with a client you invariably end up taking notes. For this purpose, this device is kind of overkill. But the accompanying time-tagged soundtrack is the killer : I've had clients who conveniently "forgot" what they had said on the meeting. When push comes to shove, mailing the note and the voiceover does wonders. It's not pretty, but works as a last resort.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Nothing New but needs to be cheaper.

    These have bene around a while, Logitech have done them before. Main killer is price of the hardware and paper.

    £150 a pen, £5 a pad or 10 biros for a pound and £1 for an A4 pad (Less if it's in the office stationary cabinet)

    You *really really* need the ability to transcribe the data to make it viable, most people would just type or scan it in and save the costs.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Excuse me sir....

    ....Would you ming signing your autograph...

    Copy Print Copy Print Forge Copy Print Forge some more... :)

    I need one..

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Missed the point

    I think you've completely missed the point of this device. There IS an explicit link between the ink data and the audio, such that if you write something in the notebook while someone is speaking, you can then go back, tap the pen on the paper and the pen will play back the audio that was recorded as you made those pen strokes.

    The same is true when you have the files in the computer - if you click on some text on screen you hear the audio that was recorded as the pen strokes were made. If you hit the 'play audio; button the text that was written as the audio was recorded is highlighted on screen as you go along.

    Uses? If you need to get something down verbatim and mess it up, you can just write a note such as "QUOTE HERE" and then later go back to the audio to transcribe "We're leveraging our synergy to accelerate our paradigm shift to cloud based virtualisation of our app store."

    If you look online, the LiveScribe website also has some public documents which link audio and drawing/writing, so you get a sort of 21st century Vision On/Rolf Harris style 'can you see what is yet' experience....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Required Title

    Looks interesting. Personally I like a slightly thicker pen than the usual, but this looks a bit much.

    Reading the review I'm left with a few questions. First, I'm a leftie, so does the pen support that? Both in display and in recording writing.

    Next, what about open source? Binaries that run on linux are nice even though they are invariably for some outdated distribution on x86_32 only, but to really take off and build a community, source is much better. It'd allow people to support the latest dragon core netbook or android phone or let you sync the pen against your openwrt nas or what-have-you. The thing is geeky enough that it just might attract developers, except of course that plenty rarely use pens.

    And of course, why is what looks like the main gimmick (`recording written material') only usable after buying an optional extra? Maybe that is why the review doesn't mention recognition quality at all.

  6. Marc Goldman

    Not about the PC

    "The pen is a clever concept, but is there really any benefit to adding audio to what you could get out of a cheap scanner and document management software?"

    For me scanning the document doesn't even come into using my Pulse.

    The whole point of it is not getting the document to the PC, it's about knowing what was going on at a meeting.

    As long as I take minimal bullet points I can get back to relevant points in the conversation instantly. Meaning I can spend much more time worrying about the meeting than taking detailed notes.

    It also stops me trying to decipher what my awful handwriting actually meant a week later as I can hear what was happening when I wrote it.

  7. Marc Goldman

    To continue from my other post...

    What isn't clear in the review, and is the most fundamental thing about the pen...

    Whatever you write on the paper is linked to the audio. At any point later you can point to the text on the paper with your pen and it will instantly jump to, and start playing, the conversation at the time you wrote it.

  8. Fuzz

    audio text link

    "Written material and audio don’t seem to be explicitly linked to each other. You have to physically find the audio note that corresponds to a page and can then play it back while viewing the page."

    This isn't my experience, I have a few of these at work. With the ones we have, when you touch the text on the page playback of the audio happens from the point when that text was written. The same functionality is available from the desktop application once the data has been transferred.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    I'd have killed for one of these things when I was at University.

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