We’re always looking for a decent excuse to go back to school because apparently they are the happiest days of our lives (although we often refute this fact). The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is one seriously good reason to become a student again as it remembers everything you write and everything you hear so that you can play back audio and link them with ay notes you might happen to have taken. In the US, the Smartpen is a reasonably affordable $200 as well and you do need to buy the special paper but while it might cost a little more than the average Bic biro and notepad it’s still not extortionately priced.
With your purchase you also get free desktop software so that you can sync your notes from the pen to your PC quickly and easily while charging the Smartpen too. There’s a choice of 4GB or 8GB internal memory which is crammed into the rather bulky and awkward pen but there is an awful lot of tech that needs to be housed so it’s hardly surprising – it may, however, lead to some reasonable cramp sessions.
You can export your notes as a PDF or a LiveScribe file (which combines audio and notes) and then share them with others. There’s even an iPhone and iPad app apparently on the way that will let you play the audio files back over your favourite Apple gadgets.
And, yes, that means that there’s an app store in which you can pick up games and other useful utilities but if you intend to dip into the app store with any kind of frequency then we strongly suggest that you opt for the 8GB storage because some of the will seriously drink your memory.
Let’s be honest, most of us could probably do without the Echo Smartphone and not really notice that we’ve been hard done by, but then that’s the point of a true gadget isn’t it? We don’t HAVE to have one but we would LOVE to.
Have you got a smartpen and dot paper?
Let us know on Facebook or share your LiveScribe files with us for all to see.