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Livescribe Echo

Livescribe Echo

I started using the Livescribe Pulse pen in July of 2008. I was pretty excited about how the smartpen could be used in education by both faculty and students, but there were a couple of minor disappointments:

  • Non-standard USB interface
  • Pen would rollover when left on a flat surface
  • Limited export options
  • Limited Mac/PC integration

Livescribe has just announced an updated pen (the Echo), and it looks like some of these issues might be fixed. More information is on their blog and website.

Livescribe Echo

The three most interesting new features to me are:

  1. “Pencast import/export: save and share pencast files locally to your desktop or a server. Notes can be sent to others as an integrated audio/notes as an attachment. Anyone with the Livescribe Desktop software (free download online) can now open, view and interact with a native Livescribe file.”
  2. “Pencast Player from Livescribe on Apple iPad, iPhone and iTouch: enables users to access pencasts anywhere they go with a simple touch (free from the iTunes store later this summer).”
  3. “Livescribe is also introducing collaboration software, Paper Tablet, 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.”

I am looking forward to see which is the better tool for faculty to use in the classroom – the Canson Papershow (which uses a Bluetooth connection) or the Livescribe Pulse with a tethered USB connection. Papershow has a new website focused on primary and secondary education (, but use is applicable within higher education.

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