The Pulse is a Livescribe invention that allows the user record and sync audio with whatever they write. With the use of their own paper notes, they can play back exactly what was previously said. “The best way to think about it is that while you’re taking notes, it’s recording simultaneously everything your ears would be hearing,” Eric Petitt, a spokesperson for Livescribe.
This clever device debuted at a mass demo at Palm Desert, Calif., Livescribe last Monday. Technically, it is just a computer within a pen. The Pulse smartpen simultaneously captures handwriting and audio, and synchronizes them together. The device is equipped with a general purpose computer with rich I/O capabilities and a Java development environment that enables a wide range of applications. Pulse is a new type of mobile computer that supports the four basic modes of human communication namely reading, writing, speaking and listening. “Using an embedded speaker and display for audio/visual input, and microphones and a pen for audio/visual output, Pulse advances the power and flexibility of mobile computing — it’s the missing link that now connects the paper and digital worlds,â€ CEO Jim Marggraff futher explained.
Paper Replay requires that users write on special dot paper so that the pen can orient itself while writing. A notebook of dot paper comes with the device, and more will be available at prices comparable to those of ordinary notebooks. Further developments will be implemented starting in April. The developers are looking at enabling the users to print the dots themselves using a laser jet printer. Users of the smartpen will be able to fast forward, rewind, jump ahead, pause, and even speed up or slow down their audio recordings using controls printed on the bottom of each page.
“We’ve seen a lot of pen devices in the past, and they haven’t done very well,” Richard Shim, research manager for IDC’s Personal Computing program, noted. “At the same time, a lot of things have changed, and the market is becoming more receptive to alternative input methods. As prices fall for a lot of technologies, the opportunity becomes wider for something revolutionary to take hold.”