This is a talk about the Livescribe Pulse smartpen: I think it is a genuinely novel, impressive and useful tool.
Demonstration of the core function (writing and recording at the same time, then tapping text to play back)
2Gb memory allows well over 100 hrs recording time OLED dimensions 96x18px Price: approx £110 Only a pen in as much as the iPhone is a phone: better to think of it as a small programmable computer with various inputs and outputs, which happens to contain an ink reservoir.
Anoto dot paper. Varying pattern means areas can be uniquely identified (“like a GPS”) Pattern algorithm is unique enough to create a sheet of paper the size of Europe Sub-areas are licensed to partners like LiveScribe to develop applications
Dock via USB and writing and recordings are synced to computer Option to upload to Livescribe servers for backup Desktop will 'OCR' handwriting to allow searching (If you write neatly enough)
Most of the surface is “open paper” but special regions of paper are marked as being controls. Interacting with these triggers other events (e.g. calculator, check battery status etc.)
Gratuitous and largely pointless demo, but it demonstrates the flexibility of what you can do
SDK available Mac/Win Emulator available Windows only “desktop SDK” also in beta Linux users are out of luck Good documentation and helpful forum
Demo penlet creation and deployment Mention 'paper apps' Mention ability to recognise characters on the fly
Yes, there is an app store for your pen Recent developer challenge gave away > $10,000 Summary: I am genuinely impressed with the implementation of the idea: feels intuitive; no appreciable bugs or annoyances other than when the battery charge is v.low
Kuru Toga is new mechanical pencil design: as the pen is raised and lowered on the paper, small gears rotate the nib fractionally to keep it sharp Given that the graphite pencil has been used since approx 1500 (and mass produced since 1660s), and that the mechanical pencil has been around since 1791 (and mass produced in 1910s) it's impressive that anyone has revisited the design to try to improve it!
Writing implements from the future (Livescribe Pulse)
Tristan Roddis, Barcamp Brighton, October 2010 Writing Implements from the future... available now!