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Wireless writing

It seems like we are in the era of “Smart” devices, smart phones, smart TVs and if you’re lucky even smart people. Well Livescribe is taking it one step further and bringing a new Smart pen. I say new because this isn’t the company’s first smartpen, in fact the Sky WiFi Smartpen is Livescribe’s third pen.

But what’s so different about this version? Like the name suggests it has built-in Wi-Fi. So what does a Smartpen do? And no, before you start wondering, it doesn’t do your homework or exams for you. What it does is work with proprietary physical notebooks to preserve your handwritten notes and linked audio files on a minimum of 2GB of on-board storage, and then it sends them directly to your Evernote account via Wi-Fi – from where you can access them on pretty much any PC, tablet or smartphone.

At this point your next thought is probably: “How is this pen going to connect to any Wi-Fi network?”

But it’s actually very simple; the new Livescribe stationery comes with a “connection” button printed on every page, that in conjunction with the OLED display on the pen itself, guides you through the procedure in a few seconds. Now if you thought that made it just about the coolest notebook ever, well here’s one more for you. The notebooks also have buttons for sending your captured thoughts to Google Drive, Dropbox and Facebook, though I can see this becoming pretty distracting in class.

The basic 2GB Sky pen will arrive in stores on November 1 and will cost you around US$175, while the 4GB and 8GB varieties will come in around US$200 and $250 respectively. Truth be told, the fact the Sky does have access to wireless cloud storage, could possibly render the difference in on-board storage pointless, but it may come in handy if you are taking notes in an area with no access to Wi-Fi. If you do decide to opt for the most expensive model then you’ll also get a year’s subscription to Evernote Premium, which is worth US$45 – a bit of an incentive there.

I think we could be looking at the future for notebooks. Once more players get involved in the field and prices of pens and stationery start to be reduced I believe these products will catch on very fast.

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