For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Livescribe Creating Another Paper-Based Computing Platform

Livescribe (Images courtesy Livescribe Inc.) By Andrew Liszewski

I usually don’t like to write about ‘promised’ technologies, but I’m hopeful something will come of this one. If you read my review of the FLY Fusion Pentop Computer you’ll know I came to the conclusion that it was more suited to kids and pre-teens, rather than adults. But it seems Jim Marggraff, the inventor of paper-based computing and the original FLY Pentop has left that company to start Livescribe, which promises to adapt the same technology for more serious uses.

Like with the FLY Fusion pen, the Livescribe will rely on special ‘Dot Paper’ but the company is hoping to provide it as cheap as any other paper on the market. What’s even better is that their dot paper can actually be printed using a certified home or office printer. The Livescribe pen also promises to be just slightly larger than a Montblanc, and will incorporate an OLED display for additional feedback. More importantly it will hopefully be able to interpret cursive writing as opposed to just printing like with the FLY Fusion.

The Livescribe is scheduled to be available in select education and consumer markets come the first quarter of 2008. – Thanks to commenter Meghan for the tip.

*Update: It’s come to my attention that the FLY Fusion pen is actually able to record and convert cursive writing into editable text. While the pen’s interactive menus and applications still seem to require you to print, from my own testing it is more than capable of recording notes made in cursive writing. (Though the accuracy is slightly less than what I achieved when printing.)

As a result I’ve updated my FLY Fusion review with additional notes reflecting this.

[ Livescribe ]








  • http://boplogg.blogspot.com Bo Peterson

    For those who don’t want to wait for the LiveScribe pen to be released, try the Logitech io pen. It is not as sofisticated as the LiveScribe with display and audio recording/playback, but it uses the same dot patterned paper as LiveScribe (both LiveScribe and Logitech license the dot pattern technology from Swedish company Anoto, http://www.anoto.com). You can transfer your handwritten documents to the PC, with full hand writing recognition, cursive writing included. You can search your hand written notes with Google desktop. I have been using it for all my notes for years. Check out http://www.logitechio.com

  • Jottem

    Bo,
    You must be kidding. I don’t think you’ve looked closely at the differences in the two products. The Livescribe pen far exceeds the capabilities of the Logitech pen. You can buy my Logitech pen if you want. It isn’t worth the price. I’ll wait for a real product to come out from Livescribe.

  • http://boplogg.blogspot.com Bo Peterson

    Jottern, I am not kidding. What I say is that
    1) LiveScribe is more sophisticated than the Logitech pen. I think you agree with this
    2) The LiveScribe and Logitech use the same paper with dot technology from Anoto, which can easily be checked at their respective websites.
    3) The Logitech is capable of handwriting recognition of cursive writing. That is also easy to check, and the handwriting recognition software is made by the French company Vision Objects.
    4) I use the Logitech pen for all my notes. That’s of course easy to prove, but I am quite certain myself.

    Bottom line: The logitech pen is a ballpoint pen with handwriting recognition facilities, LiveScribe is much more, it is a device for “pentop computing”.

  • Quinn

    Check your facts. My son owns a FLY Fusion and it can convert cursive writing to digital text.

  • Andrew Liszewski

    “Check your facts. My son owns a FLY Fusion and it can convert cursive writing to digital text. ”

    Hm, I didn’t have much success with this. And the PDF manual states ‘Each letter must be separate – no cursive or connected letters.’ But I’ll give it another try.

  • Tran

    Calling this guy the “inventor of paper-based computing” is going just a bit too far don’t ya think? :) The FLY pen uses Anoto technology that has been around for years. Did he call himself that?

  • Andrew Liszewski

    Thanks to ‘Quinn’ for bringing it my attention that the FLY Fusion pen is capable of converting cursive writing to editable text. Even though the manual makes no mention of this, and seems to go out of its way to claim it can’t, I just tested it out and it works surprisingly well. (Though the interactive menus and applications on the pen seem to still require you to print.)

    I’ve updated this post and my full review of the FLY Fusion accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    I agree calling this guy the “inventor of paper-based computing” is a bit too far .. but its probably doing a good job boosting his ego :)

  • hanna

    I love the pen top competer Its going to be so pleasing to my son!!!!!!

  • Maria

    It may come as a stupid question..but does anyone know if LiveScribe actually CONVERTS written into Editable digital Text???
    That is the main feature I’m after, and while I’m really excited about LiveScribe..if it doesn’t convert then I would not be that interested.
    I was going to get the FLY Fussion before my spring semester (College), but I don’t feel quite comfortable buying a product directed to kids up to 14y/o…so I researched and ran into LiveScribe.

    I really hope it does convert?

  • Maria

    It may come as a stupid question..but does anyone know if LiveScribe actually CONVERTS written into Editable digital Text???
    That is the main feature I’m after, and while I’m really excited about LiveScribe..if it doesn’t convert then I would not be that interested.
    I was going to get the FLY Fussion before my spring semester (College), but I don’t feel quite comfortable buying a product directed to kids up to 14y/o…so I researched and ran into LiveScribe.

    I really hope it does convert?

  • http://www.42gems.com chi

    i’m pretty sure the software has ocr. in one of the advertisements, they show how you can search for words within a document once you’ve uploaded it to your computer.

  • http://datateq.com.au/blog/2007/08/09/what-is-digital-pen-paper/ Brad

    Maria,

    Rest assured that the text conversion will work. This is a standard feature on all equipment utilising the Anoto dot pattern frame work.

    Having said that, each company that uses Anoto is different and will manage the dictionaries and databases differently.

    For example, in our systems, we recognise printing and cursive writing – and to increase accuracy of conversion, we also apply specific dictionaries that are relevant to the industry that we are working with. So if we are working with a construction company, we add into the dictionary terms that used in construction. This improves the accuracy of the hand writing recognition hugely.

    Livescribe might make different dictionaries available over time – so if you are taking notes in a physics class, it will be more accurate in the conversion if there is a dictionary designed for that application.