Tag Archives: Pulse

Release: Printable Graphpads for Livescribe!

Several months ago, I received Livescribe’s Pulse Smartpen as a birthday present. At the time, I was amazed by the features and the concept of such a device. It soon began to play an integral role in my technological life and now I really would be lost without it. You can see my full review (after months of using it) here. As I have mentioned on the official Livescribe Forums several times, the only thing that the Pulse Smartpen lacks is graph paper. Now I’m not the only one that has noticed this and Livescribe has been promising to release dot paper with grid lines on it at some point. Unfortunately, they’ve been saying that for a little over a year now. As I’m sure most of you know already, when Livescribe says something, it usually takes them some time to actually do it. Personally, I’m not a big fan of waiting for someone else to do something when it’s relatively easy (though inconvenient) to do it on my own. Of course, Livescribe has an SDK. However, the SDK is only downloadable to developers. No problem, to become an “official developer,” you just need to fill out a registration form and then download the SDK. Using the SDK, I eventually managed to create my first paper project for the smartpen. I of course dubbed it: Quarter Inch Printable Graphpad 1. However, the only problem with the current SDK is that it’s not currently possible to script page number generation. This is supposedly a feature that will be released in the long awaited Desktop SDK. Coincidently, Livescribe plans to release this by the end of quarter 2, 2010. To the end user this simply means that it will take a slightly longer time to input the pages to Livescribe Desktop. I should add that uploading custom pages currently only works with Livescribe Desktop for Windows. It is currently incompatible with Livescribe Desktop for Macintosh.

I’ve successfully created four of these graphpads (all with quarter inch graph paper as a template) and all of them have basic paper replay controls. Each of these graphpads is 25 pages long, leaving you with 100 unique pages total. However, I haven’t licensed the fourth graphpad as I haven’t had a need for it (yet) myself. I would be willing to license and release it if people request it because they need it. Chances are, at some point I will end up needing it myself and will release it at that time.

If you are interested in downloading and deploying these graphpads, I recommend that you head over to the download page, where you can find all of the necessary links and instructions.

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen: Changing the Way We Work

Several years ago the concept of digital pens reached a mainstream environment. These were pens that interacted with special paper to either digitize what was written, provide information or something else. The FLYPEN was one of the first to arrive on the market. At the time, I thought it a waste of time, something I would never end up buying because I could see no use for getting digitized copies of everything I wrote down. I also wasn’t willing to pay several hundred dollars for one.

Then a company named Anoto began creating this “dot paper”, paper with a printed dot pattern to make digitization and interaction better for smartpens. Anoto released their own pen and that looked interesting, yet at the time I was still unable to see the need for one.

Last year, I started looking into a new company, Livescribe that created the Pulse Smartpen. This was looking rather interesting. Anoto dot paper technology, java based software and “penlets”, 1gb of storage space, and the ability to record audio while taking notes. All of a sudden, this device began to look rather interesting.

In my day to day life, I end up taking a lot of notes. Though I do normally have a computer with me, it’s not always feasible to use it for note-taking. For example, when creating diagrams or any type of drawing, using a laptop touchpad is just plain horrible and results in sub-par quality assuming it’s even legible at all. For this reason, the Pulse Smartpen was looking appealing. I received it as a birthday present and immediately decided to put it through a test. I was given the new 2gb model of the Pulse Smartpen.

Included in the box is:

  • 1 Pulse Smartpen (2gb or 4gb)
  • 1 Starter Notebook
  • 1 Ink Cartridge Refill
  • Quick Start Guide
  • USB Portable Docking Station
  • 3d Audio Recording Headset

The Pulse uses an infrared camera to read the dots on special paper to figure out where it is (dot-positioning-system) and from there records all of the strokes you make on the page, instantly digitizing everything you write in your own handwriting! With audio recording, and the ability to design your own paper and penlets with java, for it’s cost this pen seems like a very nice deal.

Within two days of having, and using it, I found my notetaking habits were vastly changed. The pen truly revolutionizes the way people work. The pen came before the keyboard and many times it’s much better than the keyboard. With the pulse, you get the best of both worlds, digital and a PEN! The ability to record audio and link it to written text on the base is a major plus point of the pulse. In practice, this allows you to either write less and listen more, then add more notes later. It also provides a failsafe incase you forget to write something down. You can always listen to it.

The best part of the Pulse’s design in my opinion, is that the only button is the power button. All of the other “buttons” are relocated onto the bottom of the journal & notebook pages. Called “Paper Replay,” they allow you to control audio and the entire pens settings as well.

So all together, Livescribe’s software, and Pulse SmartPen have changed the way I work. I no longer need to pull out my laptop or netbook for everything. I can just use my SmartPen and it’s paper and then have all the information needed on my netbook when I get a chance! I highly recommend Livescribe and I’m sure that once you try it, you will too!