The humble pen has come a long way since the days of quills and inkwells. Livescribe’s latest smartpen has managed to incorporate wireless synchronisation.
Livescribe pens use a small camera in the tip of the pen to detect which page in any given Livescribe notebook you are writing in, and digitises your every pen stroke. At the same time you can record the audio of the room while you take notes, making meetings and lectures a breeze.
In the original versions, you could sync your pen via USB and save your notes electronically, allowing you to look at your notes on a big screen and replay audio.
Last year Livescribe announced, Pencasts which created interactive PDF files you could share easily with others to allow anyone to step through your notes in a simple PDF file with no additional software required.
This week, things were stepped up a gear.
Using a simple menu system controlled by new configuration options in the Livescribe books, you can now connect your new Livescribe Sky pen to a WiFi network. Once connected, you register your account with Livescribe and link your Evernote account to your smartpen and the magic happens.
Record a new note with your pen and if you’re in your Wi-Fi zone, the pencast is automatically sent to your Evernote account.
It means you have a digital version of every handwritten note you ever take, accessible from any device, be it smartphone, tablet or computer.
While some people have concerns about recording conversations, and others might have some issues with WiFi connectivity on complex corporate networks, there are ways around everything, and at the very worst your pen will syncronise every day when you get home to your own WiFi network.
To take things even further, Livescribe has also launched an SDK which will allow mobile developers to interact directly with the pen. In the demonstrations we saw there is potential for live note taking and annotation of documents on the screen of an iPad. There is a big future for the Livescribe Sky.
Prices start at $229 – it’s not cheap, but if note-taking is part of your life that’s not a bad price to pay. If 2GB isn’t enough for you, try the 4GB version at $275 or the 8GB for $345 – the 8GB also includes a 12 month Evernote Premium subscr
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.