Smartpens are the new big trend that has the business world excited. They’re still rather young, but their capabilities are already vast and they’re still growing.
Most smartpens basically convert your handwritten notes into computer files for easier review. Precisely what each smartpen is capable of, however, varies greatly.
IOGEAR Mobile Digital Scribe
This was the first smartpen on the market and, because of that, it comes without some of the bells and whistles that are available on newer pens.
It does, however, do plenty of great things that make it a fantastic business tool. The Mobile Digital Scribe captures and stores all of your notes for later review. It doesn’t require you to write on a certain surface – a simple piece of paper will do. Also, if you connect the smartpen to your computer, it can display your notes on the screen as you write them.
Logitech IO2 Digital Pen
The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen is also a more basic model, like the IOGEAR version. It lets you save your notes in a number of different file types and formats.
You are then able to browse your notes for keywords and phrases by date, file name or file type. This makes it much easier to scan your notes for specifics of a meeting or conversation. One of the inconveniences of this smartpen is that you cannot simply write on any surface – you must use Post-Its or a digital notebook made specifically for smartpens.
The Livescribe Echo smartpen is by far the most technologically advanced 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.
The coolest feature that you’ll find on the Echo is the Pencast capability. A Pencast lets you play back the audio and synchronize it with your notes, making it much less complicated to keep a detailed record of your thoughts without writing down everything. Apple has also built a free app that allows for easy sharing and replaying.
These pens are pretty interesting 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.
For a little more insight into the Livescribe Echo and its cool features check out this article.