Livescribe: Taking Another Crack at Smart Pens

Remember the "FLY Fusion Pen"? It was the pen that when used with special paper could offload your written notes to a computer, giving you an easy backup. You could even control its built-in MP3 player and calculator by drawing buttons or equations on the page. It had a high niftiness quotient (and was only $80) but the lack of a built-in screen and the need to purchase special paper to make it work were kinks. (Oh Gizmo did a recent thorough review.) Now the inventor of the technology has started a new company, Livescribe, which aims to essentially build an improved FLY Fusion, this time with a pen that has a screen, the ability to interpret cursive, and that can be used on paper that can be printed at home. (It still needs the array of time dots to work.) The idea behind these types of pens are appealing—I use a lot of pen and paper myself, especially for taking notes, scratching down ideas I'll never end up following up on, and drawing lewd figures—but I'm curious if anyone has been able to integrate these into their daily workflow. I rarely feel its too onerous to migrate my notes from paper into a computer via keyboard. The Livescribe company page has some general details, including that the first products will be available in early 2008, but be sure to avoid the odd paper cut-out flash videos with jive talkin' teens or bloggers on the beach. (As if bloggers can withstand the sun.) Company Page [ via]
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4 Responses to Livescribe: Taking Another Crack at Smart Pens

  1. pork musket says:

    If I have to remember to carry a pad of special paper (even if it is home-printed) and the pen with me, I may as well just bring my laptop. The only advantage I can see to the pen is functionality in an environment that a laptop isn’t suited for (how rugged is the pen?) or if you don’t have a place to store your laptop securely.

  2. mdhatter says:

    anyone remember Picture Pages?

  3. esperluette says:

    If they team up with Moleskine to make a dot-printed notebook, THAT would be a slam-dunk.

  4. nevermissaword says:

    Hi Joel,

    I’ve read your past coverage of the Livescribe smartpen and platform and wanted to share with you some exciting things that are going on at Livescribe.

    We just added 3 smartpen movies on our website ( and will be adding more as we ramp up for our launch at DEMO on 1/28.

    We also created a video that shows Livescribe’s commitment and dedication to solving the growing problem of “Restless Mind Syndrome”:

    And for your reference, here is the YouTube embed tag for the video above:

    Hope you enjoy and feel free to pass along to others.


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