We took a look at the LiveScribe smartpen range over a year ago and I think it’s still one of the most impressive gadgets I’ve had the pleasure of playing with. It’s one thing to innovate with phones, tablets and computers but brining cutting edge technology to something as old and basic as paper was at the time mind blowing. I actually use a LiveScribe pen in my day to day life, taking notes in writing meetings and language classes and can attest to the fact that they are indeed very useful and worth the price.
However, despite being incredibly futuristic, certain elements of the smartpen seemed old fashioned – namely having to plug the pen in and upload data via USB (although I appreciate that that’s pretty new in terms of technological advancements). And getting my notes on to my devices was slower than I would have liked. There was an app but the notebook-to-app path was less than ideal. Fortunately LiveScribe haven’t stood still and have just released the LiveScribe Sky.
The LiveScribe Sky makes smartpen’s smarter as the built-in wifi adds connectivity to your note taking. Logging on to a wifi network is surprisingly easy, and there are stickers you can add to existing notebooks if you have already have older versions of LiveScribe. The stickers let you scan for networks and add passwords with relative ease.
Use is pretty much the same as it was with previous versions of LiveScribe. Simply hit record on the special notebooks and all everything you write and say will be recorded. There’s a sync now button on the special sticker sheet but this is normally done automatically in the background. Taking notes without internet access? That’s fine as the pen will just upload everything the moment you get back online.
The added layer of magic? LiveScribe will now automatically sync with Evernote so all your notes can be uploaded to The Cloud and are available on a range of devices. Evernote are pretty device agnostic so you should have access to your musings on most smartphones and tablets – as well as laptop and desktop PCs.
In practice this works pretty well – although it can sometimes take a little while for notes to appear in Evernote (and it’s doing a lot of work in the background so I probably should be a little less impatient. Having app-based access to notes is great and you can share from Evernote to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter so you can even make fun little pencasts. If you are a casual scribe this is not the pen for you but it you take a lot of notes then you should definitely take a look.
For more info www.livescribe.com