Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Toy

I just bought a LiveScribe Pulse SmartPen. In brief, it is a clever device that uses optical encoding to digitally record what you are writing and hearing simultaneously. You can then play back the audio by clicking on the notes—great for situations where people are talking faster than you can write. It also records in stereo (the ear-plugs are stereo microphones), so you capture the localization of the sounds as well. I can see that songwriters might love this. (You know who you are...)

But I'm not a songwriter. I bought the pen to see if it might be useful as a digital lab notebook. Here are my impressions, as captured by the SmartPen itself as a pencast (and a brief addendum).