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Livescribe hears an Echo

Lightscribe Echo smartpen
Lightscribe Echo smartpen

Lightscribe_Echo_smartpenSmartpen. Sounds cool doesn’t it. In reality, you can imagine it being a let down. Not so with Livescribe’s ‘smartpen’ range! And the company has today launched its newest model: the Echo. If you’ve not seen it before, it’s a neat concept. You write notes in the dedicated notepad. The pen records audio at the same time. Point the pen at the page (or tap on a computer screen if you’re using the Livescribe Desktop software) and it reads hidden markers that take you to the exact moment on the audio file when you wrote those notes. No more fast-forwarding through 30 minutes of a boring business presentation to find the bit you want…

So what does the Livescribe Echo add?

“Along with software enhancements geared for business that makes sharing, securing and organising information incredibly simple, today’s announcement also previews new communication and collaboration tools coming later this year, including Connect and Paper Tablet, which simplify and streamline the sharing of information within existing workflows using industry standard document formats like Adobe PDF,” said a Livescribe spokesman, before taking a huge breath.

Echo features:
* A “sleek ergonomic design” with a rubberised grip and anti-roll surface
* 4GB or 8GB storage, recording approximately 400 and 800 hours respectively
* Industry standard micro-USB and 3.5mm audio jack connectors
A variety of free enhancements to Livescribe Desktop and the smartpen range have been added for both Echo and the previous Pulse model. These include:
* Launch Line: a new way to access and launch applications in seconds
* Password protection: ensures recorded audio on your smartpen remains private
* Custom smartpen name: display a name or other contact information when turned on, making identifying the owner of a smartpen easy
* Custom notebooks: group and organise notes as easily as creating a playlist in iTunes
* Pencast import/export: save and share pencast files locally to your desktop, a server, or send to others as an integrated audio/notes document. Anyone with the Livescribe Desktop software (a free download) can then open, view and interact with a native Livescribe file.
* Livescribe Pencast Player on Apple iPad, iPhone and iTouch: An app enabling customers to access their pencasts anywhere they go.
There are also now more than 60 apps available from Livescribe’s Beta Application Store, ranging from reference tools such as the 120,000 word American Heritage Desk Dictionary to simple games and study aids.

Livescribe is also introducing several new accessory products: 
* Echo 3-D Recording Premium Headset (£29.99): features embedded microphones that enable 360 degree binaural recording – ideal for recording in lecture halls or conferences
* Smartpen Portfolio (£24.99): 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 Echo smartpens cost £179.99 and is available exclusively through Amazon’s UK website for the next four weeks. The Echo will go on sale at Micro Anvica, Harrods, PCWorld and other outlets from September.