Smartpens are a new office trend with ever-expanding possibilities. The capabilities of smartpens have grown a lot since the technology first came about, and they’re still expanding.
Most smartpens essentially translate your handwritten notes into computer files for easier review. Exactly what each smartpen is capable of doing, however, varies greatly.
IOGEAR Mobile Digital Scribe
This smartpen was the first on the scene. For that reason, it doesn’t have all of the features that you may find in a newer model.
The Mobile Digital Scribe captures and stores everything you write down for later review. Unlike other pens, you don’t need to write on a specific surface in order for it to register, a simple piece of paper will do. It even lets you connect the pen directly to a computer so that everything you write down will be displayed on the screen.
Logitech IO2 Digital Pen
The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen is also a more simple model, like the IOGEAR version. It lets you save your notes in a number of different file types and formats.
You can then search for words and phrases by date, file type, or file name. You can add items to your calendar merely by writing them down. The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen doesn’t work on any surface like the IOGEAR pen, but it works with Post-It notes and Franklin Covey’s iScribe software and digital planning pages.
The Livescribe Echo smartpen is by far the most technologically sophisticated of all the smartpens out there. It not only transcribes everything you write down, it also records audio and converts the recording into a number of different audio file types.
One of the best features that you can find on the Livescribe Echo is the introduction of Pencasts. Pencasts are basically when you are able to play back the audio along with the written notes, so you can see it all in one place. Apple has created an app that allows you to play these Pencasts, so sharing is straightforward and quick.
These pens are pretty great tools that can be great for just about anyone. They take a great deal of time out of transcription and make remembering details of a meeting or conversation much easier.
If you’d like to take a look at a review of the Livescribe Echo, check out this Inc. article.