Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Gadget Callie Thought Up and Then Lost!

Sitting in class one day Callie began to think up a clever invention that would make her day as well as many other students, notetakers, and doodlers a much needed tool. It was called in her mind the Smart Pen. It would record the audio of what you were hearing as you wrote, it would translate the words you wrote into whatever language you wished, and it could do math.

So it came as a surprise today, as I checked my emails and saw a job opportunity sent to me from a company based out in Oakland California called Livescribe. Seems they made Callie's pen and a little more. I was curious what this company was about and decided to look into it a little and was impressed immediately.

They created a pen with a computer in it. The pen comes equipped with two mics and a camera that records at 72fps. So why would you want a pen with two mics and a camera? Sounds excessive huh? Well with two mics, the pen can record the audio while you write and eliminate background noise. The pen is used on a special printed paper with tiny dots, the paper can be printed from a printer. The camera is used to track what you are writing exactly where you are writing it so you can upload it to a computer document, easily. With video and audio you can sync precisely what you were hearing with whatever you were writing. You want to know what you were hearing when you were quickly trying to copy a graph off the board? Now you can.

That's just the main function. You write Beer on your paper and tell the pen to translate in Spanish. It says cervesa. Fun, could be beneficial when working with people who haven't grasped the best words for what they are trying to say in a foreign language. Would be fun to have with you when you travel to a foriegn country. Need to know where a nice restaurant is? Simply right it down, the pen translates, hand the pen and pad to them, they write, it translates back.

It keeps going, draw a keyboard on your paper. You can start playing keyboard, you can even change the insturment to steel drums, cymbals, etc. Want to go another step? Why not add some rythym beats to it.

The pens' software is community friendly so new programs such as games, music, and even magic tricks are being created for free. You can easily upload your doodles, notes, whatever you've written and recorded to whoever you want.

As a marketing student I'll be sure to keep an ear open to Callie's novel invention ideas more often ;). As for the job opportunity, I applied. We'll see how that goes. I just hope they let you keep one if you work for them. Although the price, $150 for a 1GB and $199 for a 2GB pen, is higher than one would pay for any ordinary pen, it may be enticing for a student/doodler. However, working for the team is probably the cheaper way to go.

You should check out some of the examples at

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