Livescribe's smartpens incorporate a digital voice recorder, computer and display. When the pen is used to write on Anoto smart paper, which is peppered with a matrix of barely visible tiny dots, the pen is able to remember its track on the paper and to synchronise a recording with what was written at the time.
That recording can then be replayed simply by touching the pen on the paper, or can be uploaded to a PC (or Mac) - and now to Evernote - so that the entire writing session and its associated recording can be replayed on the screen, or uploaded to Livescribe's web site from where it can be viewed as a 'pencast' - recreation of the original writing session accompanied by its associated recording.
In mid 2011 a new version, the Echo Smartpen, was introduced along with new software http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/technology/47326 to complement the existing Livescribe Desktop that enabled Smartpen files to be shared as animated pdf files by uploading to Evernote, Facebook and Google Docs (now Google Drive) or sent via email.
With the new WiFi enable Sky Smartpen uploading to Evernote takes place while the pen is in use so long as it is not being used to record audio, in which case the upload happens when the recording has been completed. Livescribe says it intends to update the software on the Smartpen so that syncing can take place in the background while recording is in progress.
The Sky Smartpen no longer uses the Livescribe Desktop or Livescribe Connect software - however these will be retained to support the earlier Pulse and Echo Smartpen and the Echo will continue to be sold.
The ability to upload to Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox and email is not available on the Sky at launch but will be added early in 2013. However there will not be the same tight integration with other services that there is with Evernote: the two companies have forged a strategic multiyear partnership.
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