Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Livescribe Connects Its Digital Pen With Google Docs, Evernote

Livescribe, which is on pace to sell its one millionth digital pen this year is now making it a little easier to send its digital notes to other computer programs.

The company’s signature product is a “smartpen” that writes with standard ink, but captures audio and uses special paper so that, in addition to showing up on paper, the notes are also recorded digitally for transfer to a computer. The new Livescribe Connect service, being announced on Monday, allows the digital notes and audio recordings to be sent from to a variety of other programs and services, including Evernote, Google Docs and Facebook. Users will also be able to mark their notes to be sent as a PDF document via e-mail the next time the pen is docked.

CEO Jim Marggraff said at an event for reporters that the shift to smart wireless devices has highlighted the fact that, although his company’s product has helped allow handwritten notes go digital, “the Livescribe smartpen remains a disconnected device in a connected world.”

The Livescribe Connect service is designed to take a step toward addressing that, but still requires the pen be docked to a computer in order to send notes via e-mail or transfer them to another program. Though not sharing any details, Marggraff acknowledged that a wireless connection from the pen would be the next logical step.

Livescribe, which demoed its first smartpen back at D5 in 2007, is also adding a 2GB, $99 version of its Echo smartpen.

The Livescribe Connect service will work with all of the companies Echo and older Pulse pens. Most of the connectors will be free for all pen owners, while connections to Google Docs and e-mail will require the purchase of a $15 upgrade for owners of the older Pulse pens or those who buy the new entry-level Echo pen.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald