You’re sitting at a lecture, a presentation, an important client meeting. You listen. You take notes. But how do you ever get those long quotes accurately? How do you recall every last client request? How do you retell that amusing anecdote with correct timing? It may not be just for business purposes but two products from Livescribe, the Pulse and the Echo could be just the tool for getting the most out of presentations. These “smart pens” are often promoted as ideal tools for students who need to take notes, due to ease of use with a handy pen interface. The “pens” allow you to write on paper with real ink, but they also record, playback and upload your notes to computers. They come with a USB interface, two, four or eight gigabytes of memory, a microphone and several other bells and whistles so you could be texting while in a meeting without missing a thing. But you ought to be paying attention.
Of the two, the Echo is the newer, hotter version with just a few more upgrades. Of course, critics note that you need special paper for this tool. It has barely visible dots that function as place markers for the pen tool. Reports are that you can print your own paper if you’d rather not buy the special stuff. The resulting notes from this tool is called a Pencast which can be uploaded to the Livescribe website for remote access. But wait. There’s more. The smart pen is also a platform, “With rich I/O capabilities and a Java™ development environment that enables a wide range of applications.” Already you can buy an app for unit conversions or French for Travelers, or Hangman – that hangman. Or you could download Guitar Chords for Beginners for free. Practical folks may not think it’s a necessary thing but hey, it’s new and fun.
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