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Get Your Digital Writing On

Smartpens and digital notepads catch my eye

I’ve got a couple of gadgets for those who want to go digital with their writing: a digital notepad from Ace CAD and Pulse smartpen from LiveScribe.

The DigiMemo A402/L2 from Ace CAD is a digital notepad with memory that can send e-mail from notes written on paper by smartphone via Bluetooth without using a computer. With DigiMemo, you put regular paper on the notepad and use a normal pen. Using electromagnetic technology, the DigiMemo digitally records notes and drawings in the pad’s 32 MB flash memory or optional SD memory card.

The notes or drawings are transmitted using Bluetooth as JPEG, PDF or DHW format to a smartphone to be viewed or e-mailed.

Livescribe was introduced at MacWorld, not CES; I heard about it at CES from a broadcast engineer.

The Livescribe Pulse smartpen software now works with Macs in addition to PCs. Livescribe’s Pulse smartpen captures handwriting and simultaneously records audio and synchronizes it to the writing. You tap on your notes to replay what was recorded. For example, tap the pen on the codec sentence to hear that spoken and tap it on the receiver sentence to hear those words.

From a Mac or PC, Mac, the notes and audio can be digitally stored, searched or shared. Microdots printed on Livescribe dot paper allow the infrared camera at the tip of the Pulse smartpen to track what’s written down. Controls at the bottom of each page help users navigate pen applications and features. Users can also print their own dot paper to use with Livescribe software.

Both 1GB and 2GB models are available.