[NTLK] Smart Pens (was: Big question)

Dan dan at dbdigitalweb.com
Fri Nov 25 00:30:06 EST 2011

On 11/24/2011 2:15 PM, R A Parker wrote:

> The others who are also using the Smart Pens haven't really mentioned the size. They are accustomed to using a pen and pad to take meeting notes. One person even mentioned she likes a bigger pen. 
> I myself use the Smart Pen mostly for training. I have noticed the size only in the sense that it forces me to hold the pen less tightly, more relaxed and comfortably. I am used to using a small stylus and my Newton. So, there is a definite, immediate, noticeable difference. However that disappears quickly once you are working with it.
>> Do you need special paper?  
> Yes, but you can print your own (special) dot paper. Notepads of various size, styles and colors are reasonably priced and ultimately, very convenient.
> Dot paper helps the pen with scanning. Also, all of the pen's function buttons are on the paper, as well as the inside of the notebook covers. Buttons such as Record, Stop, Play, Pause, Skip and Function Menu(s), Calculators, Settings and more. The pen is smart though. If you have dot paper, you can make your own smart buttons.

It should be mentioned that printing this special dot paper is not as
easy as it sounds.  A printer must support "Postscript".  And these days
it is not as common as it use to be.  And most inkjets (and even laser
printers) cannot print the special paper as a result.

The good side, the paper is reasonably priced and almost the same price
as a set of (normal) notebooks.  Livescribe has said several times that
they don't want to make money on the paper, and they are holding to that

The pens can also have special applications downloaded to them via the
Livescribe site.  One I installed on a Pen was Zork.  And I liked the
size personally.  The problem I had was my handwriting is terrible, so
therefore I would rather use my newton and have it convert my writing.
Or just plug in a keyboard and type...which I can do far faster than
with a pen anyway.

Of course those that love pen and paper, smart pens are great.  Where
they are also wonderful is if you are taking classes.  You can record
the entire class audio and take notes.  When you tap on a word or
something you wrote, the pen plays back the audio that was recorded at
that point.  I do wish i had one of those back then.  Would have been
great.  In that respect it even beats typing on your keyboard as you
have the whole lecture recorded tied to your notes.  And even with my
horrible writing, I would be able to understand (or anyone else) my
notes as the audio would clarify anything that was in question.

There are other smart pens around, although I only have experience with
Livescribe.  If anyone is interested they are having sales on their website.

Also a comment on fountain pens....I also prefer those.  And I don't see
why a fountain smart pen couldn't be developed.  Behind the ink tip is a
camera that sees the dots and "remembers" what you are doing at that
point.  The ink itself (or type) doesn't matter.  I like the older model
rather than the newer triangle shape pen (they do have a nice kit with 2
stands, case, paper etc on sale now I think...I remember getting a email
a few days back).

Anyway in summary smart pens are nice, but I love my newton more and it
still sees far more use.


More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list