Livescribe Echo: The Smartpen Gets Some Brilliant Upgrades

The Livescribe Pulse smartpen showed that there was demand out there for a ballpoint pen with a computer inside. Now the Echo has arrived, bringing with it additional capabilities like password protection, increased storage, even more apps.

Echo lets you put pen to pad to draw on your computer (Mac or PC) via USB port, records audio, and can even sync that audio with your note-taking. The 60-plus selection of Livescribe apps range from the American Heritage Desk Dictionary to a poker game, and a new feature called Launch Line lets you launch an app by underlining an associated word and tapping the line. You can also create custom notebooks, just as you would an iTunes playlist.

If a smartpen seems like a strange thing to wrap your head around, here's some video of Echo in action:

Livescribe also announced a few enhancements coming this fall, including Connect—software that lets you send notes and audio from your smartpen to email addresses, websites, and other applications—Paper Tablet collaboration software, and Pencast Player, which lets you access your pencasts on iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

The 4GB Echo will set you back $170, while 8GB are $200 apiece. The 2GB Pulse is also still around, discounted to $130.

Livescribe Unveils Echo Smartpen
Company previews new communication and collaboration software for business professionals

OAKLAND, Calif. – July 19, 2010 – Livescribe Inc., (www.livescribe.com) maker of the award-winning Pulse smartpen, unveils Echo™, the newest smartpen in its product lineup, along with software enhancements geared for the business professional that make sharing, securing and organizing information simple. Today's announcement also previews new communication and collaboration capabilities coming this fall, including Connect and Paper Tablet, which simplify and streamline the sharing of information within existing workflows using industry-standard document formats like Adobe PDF.

"Livescribe's mission is to enhance the capture, access and sharing of written and spoken information to improve communication, collaboration, productivity and learning," says Jim Marggraff, CEO and founder of Livescribe. "Today's announcement of the Echo smartpen and preview of our new communication and collaboration tools marks a significant advancement in paper-based computing, as well as personal and professional information management. Notes, audio, and other information captured on paper are now seamlessly integrated into readily used online applications and services. Integration with Adobe PDF brings the communication benefits of audio and ink together in a ubiquitous format for use by millions of people."

Echo Smartpen
The Echo smartpen captures everything consumers hear and write and provides quick and accurate access to important information by simply tapping on the written notes either directly on paper or on a computer using the Livescribe Desktop software.

Echo features a sleek ergonomic design with a rubberized grip and anti-roll surface. It is available in 4GB and 8GB models, recording approximately 400 and 800 hours respectively. This new smartpen also features industry-standard connectors, micro-USB and 3.5 mm audio jack, to enable customers to use their favorite ear buds for private listening as well as share common USB cables with other mobile devices. Click here to see a demonstration of Echo.

The 8GB Echo smartpen features abundant storage, for up to 800 hours of audio or a combination of audio, digital ink and applications. Applications range from rich reference tools like a complete 120,000 word American Heritage Desk Dictionary to simple games and study aids, available from Livescribe's Beta Application Store, which now includes more than 60 applications. Livescribe smartpen applications enhance many aspects of digital life from productivity and education to entertainment and communication, enabling users to customize, personalize and extend their smartpen

New Smartpen and Livescribe Desktop Enhancements
A variety of free enhancements to Livescribe Desktop and the smartpen have been added for both Echo and Pulse customers.

• Launch Line: a new way to access and launch applications in seconds
• Password protection: ensures recorded audio on your smartpen remains private
and safe
• Custom smartpen name: display a name or other contact information
on the OLED screen, making identifying the owner of a smartpen easy
• Custom notebooks: group and organize notes as easily as creating a playlist in
iTunes
• Pencast import/export: save and share pencast files locally to your desktop, a
server, or to send to others as an integrated audio/notes document. Anyone with
the Livescribe Desktop software (free download online) can now open, view and
interact with a native Livescribe file

New Communication and Collaboration Tools Available this Fall
This fall, Livescribe will also make available new Connect software, which enables customers to send notes, audio and Pencast PDFs quickly and easily from smartpen and paper to a wide range of destinations including email addresses, online sites and other popular third-party consumer, education and business applications. Information is automatically sent when the smartpen is docked to a Mac or PC. With Pencast PDF, customers will also be able to author and share pencasts in an industry-standard Adobe PDF document directly from smartpen and paper. Anyone with Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.3 or above will be able to view and listen to an interactive Pencast PDF. To see an example Pencast PDF, click here.

Livescribe will also introduce Paper Tablet, powerful new collaboration software that lets consumers communicate in real-time, directly from a Livescribe notebook to a Mac or PC using an Echo smartpen and a standard micro-USB cable. Now any Livescribe paper product can also be used as an interactive, high-precision graphics tablet, with the smartpen being used as a real-time graphics stylus. Customers will create and share notes, drawings, and annotate or sign documents or presentations locally or over the Web with popular video conferencing applications and industry-standard education collaboration tools.

Pencast Player from Livescribe on Apple iPad, iPhone and iTouch With the launch of Echo, the company is announcing the Pencast Player for iPad, iPhone and iTouch, which enables customers to access their pencasts anywhere they go. Now notes and audio from critical meetings or lectures are portable, playable and easy to share with a simple touch. Pencast Player will be available for free from the iTunes store later this summer.

Product Availability
All Livescribe smartpens and the Livescribe Desktop software for Mac and PCs are localized and available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Additionally Korean, and Chinese languages are supported in the Windows version of the Livescribe Desktop and all smartpens.
US: The company is also introducing several new accessory products to enhance the experience with Livescribe smartpens.

• Echo 3-D Recording Premium Headset ($29.95): features embedded microphones that enable 360 degree binaural recording – ideal for recording in lecture halls or conferences
• Smartpen Portfolio ($24.95): a convenient all-in-one solution for professionals, fits Livescribe journals or A5 notebooks, and provides extra storage for a smartpen, business cards and extra ink cartridges
• Deluxe Carrying Case ($24.95): a protective zippered case, with plenty of room for a smartpen, ear buds and other cables and accessories

The new Echo smartpens, available in 4GB ($169.95) and 8GB ($199.95) models, dot paper and accessories are available now at Best Buy, Amazon.com, Apple, Staples, Target and online at Livescribe.com. In addition, select applications for the smartpen will be sold at Best Buy, with a full set of downloadable applications available at Livescribe's Application Store at www.livescribe.com/store. The 2GB Pulse smartpen is now available at a new entry price point of $129.95.