Livescribe has announced a new addition to its Smartpen range called the Echo. The device ups the on-board memory from 2GB to either 4GB or 8GB, which it says will enable up to 400 hours or 800 hours of audio notes to be recorded.
The new pen sports a new design with a rubberised grip. Standard connectors are now offered via micro USB and a 3.5mm audio jack, so owners can use their preferred earphones for listening and share cables with other devices they might have.
We were pretty keen on the Pulse, the previous version of the Livescribe. For those of you wondering how the device works it's essentially a pen with a microchip in the nib that records everything you write and all audio that’s spoken at that time – though you have to use the Livescribe Dot Paper, a 100-page ruled pad that’s provided.
You can then transfer your written notes and drawings to your computer, and via the Livescribe software they are fully searchable. Alternatively, tap on any written note on the pad, and the audio recorded at that point in time will be replayed via the pen. Think of it as a form of augmented reality. Clever stuff.
Livescribe has also improved the software, adding password protection, the ability to customise your smartpen name and to share Pencast files with anyone using the free desktop software.
We also like the new Pencast PDF feature that enables you to annotate a PDF drawing with audio and have it playback for anyone using Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.3 or above.
The following new accessories are also being introduced:
• The Echo 3-D Recording Premium Headset (£29.99): featuring an embedded microphones that enable 360 degree binaural recording - ideal for recording in lecture halls or conferences.
• Smartpen Portfolio (£24.99): this fits Livescribe journals or A5 notebooks, and provides extra storage for a smartpen, business cards and extra ink cartridges.
• Deluxe Carrying Case (£24.99): a protective zippered case, with plenty of room for a smartpen, ear buds and other cables and accessories.
The 8GB Smartpen Echo is available exclusively from from Amazon UK for £189.99.
We’re reliably informed that as it features a ball with a chip in it, Sepp Blatter refuses to use the Smartpen, whereas it’s the only pen that Frank Lampard will use for fear that otherwise no one else will believe anything he writes.
Or so we’re told.