CNET News Video
A sneak peek at the Pulse smart penThe digital pen company aims to succeed where others have failed. CNET News.com's Ina Fried gets a sneak peek at the Pulse smart pen from Livescribe CEO Jim Margraff.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> I'm Ina Fried with CNET News.com. I'm here with Jim Marggraff, the CEO of Livescribe. Livescribe first talked about its digital pen plans back at the D Conference last year. Now, you guys are closer to market -- unveiled the Pulse name and some more details about the product. Where are things at? >> Well, we're getting ready to launch our product. We'll be announcing this at the demo and demonstrating it amidst a number of high-tech products. At this point, we're actually doing a final, putting a final wraps on system integration for development of our software and preparing to bring it up. >> Obviously, we've seen a lot of digital pens before. Maybe show us how the Pulse is different than what we've seen in the past. >> Sure, sure. Well, this is Livescribe Pulse Smartpen. So, the category we're creating is called the Smartpen and what makes a Smartpen or a pen smart? It begins for us with basic modes of human communication: Reading, writing, speaking, listening. And if you look at a computer today, you look at what's the input and output mode that you have for a computer. You have -- you type to input, you speak occasionally to input information. And for output, you have a display and you have a speaker. So, we've taken a pen and we put it basically, we made it a computer. So, we have an OLED and organic [inaudible] display, which has 18 by 96 pixels, which is sufficient to show both text and also show a [inaudible] character sets, such as [inaudible] and other characters. If I go to the bottom of my notebook and at the notebook I have controls. So, I have recording controls and playback controls and they're identical on each page. >> So, in addition to a special pen, you're also using a special kind of paper. >> That's right. So, the paper is ordinary paper printed with microdots. >> One of the big applications here is note taking, and basically taking notes and combining some of the things that people have to do today when they take notes. How does that work? >> So, it starts with again, writing notes on paper. So, turn the pen on, you write notes, digitize it and captures it. If I just touch the Record at the bottom of the page, the pen now says, Recording. And it shows me it's recording. It will count: Four, five, six seconds, such as the time recorded and when I start to write on paper, if I write - one, Pulse. So, I write Pulse one, and at this point it's recording everything I hear and time stamping it, synchronizing it to that ink. If I now write two, so two -- we talked about the Pulse and the capabilities by the way, which are speaker, microphone, the display, lithium ion battery, an ARM 9 processor and 1 or 2-gigabytes of memory. If I move to two, which is our desktop software, this is part of our overall platform. They have the pen. I can then capture what I've recorded and written and upload it to my desktop. And three, for three hour write down web because the last piece of our whole system is the web software, which includes our store, includes our developer community and allows you to take all of you ink and audio that you've created and post it to our website. It's [inaudible] we offer for free to make that -- those ink and audio will be available to your friends. If I go back to it, I'll touch it and it will playback.... ^M00:03:08 [ Recording ] ^M00:03:12 >> Okay? So, it just starts playing back to the speaker inside what I've recorded and wherever I touch there's two, three and then records it. I'll plug in an external speaker, which could be a speaker or could be earbuds that are included with this and if I touch it now... ^M00:03:27 [ Recording ] ^M00:03:29 >> You'll hear the quality of the audio recorded. There's two and three. And as we offer this to architects, consultant, people in the medical profession, journalists, anyone at all that would like to say, "Wow! I've got a new medium." Paper based computing. >> So, I think the big question on folks mind is when am I going to be able to get this and how much is it gonna cost? >> So, we'll be shipping the product, we're announcing shortly and it will be -- shipments will begin in March and the price, we're pretty excited about, we'll have two versions. We have a 2-gigabyte model and a 1-gigabyte model. The 2-gigabyte model will store up to 200 hours of audio in the pen in addition to uploading and transferring it to your PC. The 1-gig stores 100 hours. The 2-gig is priced at $199 and the 1-gig will be $149 and the $149 - both models will include a docking cradle, into which you put your pen to transfer to the PC and also recharge your pen, lithium ion battery. Include a paper notebook, include a starter kit -- staring guide, a demo card and also include something I haven't mentioned which are some very special earbuds. >> A lot of people have used this underlying core technology from Anoto to do different types of digital pens. None of them have really, sort of broken out of the mold and become huge successes particularly in the digital note taking space. What makes you convinced that adding more intelligence into the pen will do the trick. >> I think digital pens that have been used to date are great input and capture devices. They capture information as you're writing it. What they capture is a stream of ink. What we need to capture by another level of value for a broader audience is a combination of ink and audio because at that point, I capture the ink and what was spoken as I was writing by being able to capture that and play it back and access it and search it, I have great power to solve some problems. ^M00:05:21 [ Music ]