New Echo smartpen, smartpen, smartpen

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Never missing a word in a meeting is smart, saving time is smarter. Enter Californian company Livescribe, who yesterday released their newest smartpen, Echo.

Following the legacy of its predecessor in 2008, the Livescribe Pulse, Echo is a computer in a pen that records audio notes and links them to your written notes. Tapping on a specific word or drawing cues the audio recorded at the time of notetaking. The ability to quickly find specific moments in a meeting saves tedious playback time.

The Echo boasts a number of improved features including a slimmer ergonomic design with a rubber grip, a MicroUSB connector (as opposed to the precursors dedicated dock) and a standard 3.5-millimetre jack, rather than the 2.5-millimetre jack on the Pulse. The most noticeable difference is a significant memory boost from Pulse’s 2GB to Echo's 4GB and 8GB options.

A new range of software features has also been unveiled, including Apple-like apps, over 60 in total, including an American Heritage Dictionary, Hangman, and Guitar Chords for Beginners.

Additional free enhancements for the smartpen includes password protection (handwriting recognition), customising your smartpen name, and custom notebooks (organising notes like a playlist).

At the unveiling of Echo, Livescribe also announced new collaborative and communication tools to be available later in the year. The new software will enable customers to send notes, audio and Pencast PDFs from smartpen and paper to email addresses, online sites and other third-party consumers and business applications.

The 8GB (RRP $299) and 4GB (RRP $259) Echo smartpens are available at retail partner Dick Smith and later this week at JB Hi-Fi and OfficeWorks. The 2GB Pulse smartpen is now available at a new entry price point of RRP $209.

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