Magazine article Information Management

Livescribe Offers Pen-Based Computer

Magazine article Information Management

Livescribe Offers Pen-Based Computer

Article excerpt

A new computing device in the form of a pen may change the way many gather and record data.

Livescribe's pen-based computer, introduced at the D5: All Things Digital technology conference in Carlsbad, California, could aid students, journalists, lawyers, doctors, consultants, and others who depend on live interaction to gather data and has implications for managing new e-records formats and multiple versions of data.

The device, the size and weight of a plump Montblanc pen, is equipped with two microphones to record sound, a speaker for playback, a small "pixel bar" display window, and a computer chip. Also included is a docking station for uploading information from the pen to a PC and for downloading programs from the PC to the pen.

Unlike earlier versions of pen-based computer products that forced users to write with a stylus on a computer screen or digital mat, Livescribe's pen uses paper imprinted with tiny dots that are nearly imperceptible. The pen's embedded camera uses the dots as navigation points while the user writes on the special paper. Handwritten notes are captured and can be uploaded to a PC via the pen's docking station, where they can be organized, searched, played back, and sent to others. Optional software can translate handwritten notes into text.

The pen's recording devices can capture spoken words simultaneously and can even link the manual notes with the audio recording. For example, the computer can keep lecture notes and the corresponding audio recording in synch. …

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