The Livescribe paper-based computing platform consists of a digital pen, digital paper, software applications, and developer tools.
Central to the Livescribe platform is the smartpen, a ballpoint pen with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder. When used with Anoto digital paper, it records what it writes for later uploading to a computer, and synchronizes those notes with any audio it has recorded. This allows users to replay portions of a recording by tapping on the notes they were taking at the time the recording was made. It is also possible to select which portion of a recording to replay by clicking on the relevant portion of a page on-screen, once it has been synced to the Livescribe Desktop software.
- The Livescribe smartpen is about the size and weight of a large pen (5/8" x 6 1/8"), and is equipped with a removable ball-point ink cartridge, a microphone to record audio, a speaker for playback, a small OLED display, and internal flash memory that captures handwritten notes, audio and drawings.
- The user can choose to record audio in addition to the handwritten text. Recorded audio is kept indexed with the handwritten text—tapping on a written word starts playback of the recorded audio from that part of the recording.
- The smartpen allows the installation of as many applications as there is memory, and ships with several applications. If tapped on the correct images, it can function as a calculator, for example, or can translate words.
- The Livescribe is available with either 2 or 4 Gigabytes of flash storage. The 2 GB model holds about 200 hours of audio depending on recording quality settings. The Livescribe Pen uses an included USB cradle and a 2.5mm headphone jack.
- Users can also import their written notes onto their computer in addition to the audio.