Pen and Paper Enter the Digital Age


You’re not one of those old-fashioned folks who still writes down notes by hand, are you?

If so, rest assured that you won’t have to give up your pen and paper anytime soon. You can, however, make your pen a little smarter than it used to be.

The just-released Pulse Smartpen from Livescribe is a huge advance in note-taking ability. Sure, digital pens that use handwriting recognition software to transcribe your writing into digital form are nothing new. But the Smartpen is even smarter: it records audio while you write and syncs it to the words you’ve written on the special, dedicated paper. Want to play back the recording? Just tap that spot in your notes and get a playback of the audio heard at that particular time.

The device is marketed mainly for journalists and businesspeople. But at $150 it could even find a niche among college students. Many students record their lectures, but the task of hunting through the audio to find a particular point makes these recordings of little use. The Smartpen could change this. Now if they could only program it to take exams, too…

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