What's a Livescribe smartpen?

Livescribe is changing the way we look at a 5000 year old product - an everyday product that everyone uses. In a fast-paced world, where our attention is constantly being diverted, Livescribe’s revolutionary digital solution is going back to basics. It is simplifying our lives and enhancing our creativity.

In this article


What is a Livescribe smartpen?

At about the size and form factor of any regular pen, Livescribe smartpens digitally capture everything you write on Livescribe notebooks and store them in its memory. When the smartpens are connected with a supported companion device (mobile/ tablet/ desktops), they securely transfer the data to the Livescribe Apps in the device.

In addition to digitizing handwritten notes, Livescribe smartpens also record audio and synchronize the recorded audio to what you write. Depending on the smartpen, audio recording and playback is either done on the pen itself or with the help of the Livescribe+ App on a companion mobile device.


What are the different smartpens that Livescribe has?

Livescribe currently has three models of smartpens in its line-up, Echo, the Aegir, and the all-new Symphony. All smartpens digitally capture your handwritten notes.

Learn more about the smartpens here,

  • Echo
  • Aegir
  • Symphony

Can Livescribe smartpens be used on any paper?

No, Livescribe smartpens lose their ability to digitize handwritten notes and capture audio when used on regular paper. In order to enjoy true benefits of Livescribe smartpens, dot-pattern printed Livescribe notebooks (dot paper) are required.

What is dot paper or what is so special about Livescribe Notebooks?

Livescribe notebooks use regular paper printed with a unique pattern of tiny micro-dots. This tiny pattern of dots work a lot like a GPS system for the smartpen, called DPS (Dot Positioning System). It allows the smartpen to capture everything it writes or draws on dot paper.
The smartpen’s high‐speed infrared camera reads the dot‐pattern, which enables a wide range of digital functionalities and paper-based applications. Livescribe’s dot paper notebooks and paper‐based applications are provided by the company and at prices comparable to standard paper products.
Dot paper may also be printed on some certified home or business printers for free.

How does smartpen and the dot paper work?

The IR camera located at the tip of the smartpen takes a continuous series of photo-graphs of 6 x 6 dots, spaced 0.3mm apart, creating images of 1.8 x 1.8mm grids of 36 dots. The camera takes up to 72 snapshots per second, enough to capture and recreate handwriting. Each picture of these dots is decoded by the software in the smartpen to provide an (x,y) coordinate pair, telling the smartpen exactly where the pen is on any given page.
The smartpen’s location derived from the (x,y) coordinates, is interpreted by the smart-pen software, and mapped to an “application” in the smartpen. The camera does not see ink written by a user, nor does it see the artwork on the page. Rather, the smartpen tracks and remembers where ink is written, and knows the coordinates of items such as buttons.

What are the advantages of a Livescribe smartpen?

Students and professionals deal with information overload on a daily basis. Livescribe’s smartpens combine all four modes of communication — reading, writing, speaking and listening — in the simple, low cost, and convenient format of pen and paper.
Livescribe smartpens solve the burden of information overload in their ability to capture information and make it easily accessible and shareable. In the case of taking notes during a discussion or lecture, the smartpen records the conversation and digitizes the handwriting, automatically syncing the ink and audio. By later tapping the ink, the smartpen replays the conversation from the exact moment the note was written.
Notes and audio can also be transferred wirelessly to a mobile or computer device where they can be replayed, saved, searched, shared, and synced automatically with popular cloud services so users never miss a word.

What makes up Livescribe digital writing platform?

  • Smartpen: At about the size and form factor of a regular pen with advanced processing power, audio and visual feedback, as well as substantial memory for handwriting capture, audio recording (only on Echo), and additional applications. The IR Camera in the pen is what it makes it so special, as it optically tracks your handwriting on any Live-scribe ‘digital paper’.
  • Livescribe Notebooks: Livescribe digital paper uses regular paper printed with a unique pattern of tiny microdots. This tiny pattern works a lot like a GPS system for the smartpen. It allows the smartpen to capture everything it writes or draws on dot paper.
  • Livescribe Applications: Allows users to backup, search, organize, and share notes from their devices. Users can also convert their handwritten notes into multiple formats and automatically upload notes to multiple cloud service platforms. Notes with audio recording, called as “Pencasts,” can be easily shared as interactive Livescribe PDFs or as Video files.

What is the difference between Echo, the Aegir & Symphony smartpens?

All Livescribe smartpens (Echo, Pulse, Sky Wi-Fi, Livescribe 3, and Aegir) are fully compatible with all Livescribe’s dot-pattern notebooks, capture everything users write and record (in-built mic for Echo or using mobile app for Livescribe 3 & Aegir) and work with Livescribe companion applications to provide quick access to digital version of the captured information.

Echo is purpose-built for capturing audio while taking notes, as it has a built-in micro-phone and stores over 200 hours of audio and thousands of pages of notes directly in the pen itself. Echo is a self-contained ink and audio pen that permits users to capture everything that they hear and say while taking notes. The audio can be played back right on the pen and just the portion of audio associated with a specific handwritten note can be played on demand. Then when Echo is connected to a computer via USB, all captured notes and audio are seamlessly transferred to the free Echo Desktop application where notes and audio can be easily archived, organized and shared with others.

The Symphony/ Aegir smartpens are Livescribe’s newest smartpens that are slim, light, and look more like any regular ball point pen. It can stream handwritten notes wirelessly from the pen to the free Livescribe+ Apps that are available across iOS, Android, Windows and macOS. The feature-rich cross platform applications allow you to quickly convert your handwritten notes into editable, and easily shareable forms. Notes can also be sent directly to cloud services like Evernote, OneNote, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
This smartpen is more suited for people who would like to write on paper and still get all the digital notetaking benefits without any additional efforts. Using Aegir is as easy as putting pen to paper. The Aegir does not have a built-in microphone, but the App can record audio while taking notes, as long as the App is running and the mobile device in a position to record the conversation.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us