Livescribe Launches New Mobile Computing Platform

Livescribe Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jim Marggraff today unveiled a new chapter in mobile computing – a new paper-based computing platform. The Livescribe platform turns plain paper into a computer screen and bridges the gap between the paper and digital worlds. The platform enables a broad range of new applications in personal productivity, learning, communication, and self expression.

The Livescribe platform includes:

* Smartpen: a Montblanc-size computer with advanced processing power, audio/visual feedback, and substantial memory for handwriting capture, audio recording, and applications

* Dot Paper with Dot Positioning System (DPS): technology that enables interactive, “live” documents using plain paper printed with micro-dots

* Software Applications: a breadth of solutions that leverage audio/ink capture, handwriting recognition, and Internet connectivity to enhance personal productivity, learning, communication and self expression

* Development Tools: easy-to-use tools for consumers and developers to create, publish, and share or sell new applications and content online

The possibilities for paper-based applications are endless. Livescribe’s first key application is “Paper Replay.” When taking notes during a discussion or lecture, the smartpen records the conversation and digitizes the handwriting, automatically synching the ink and audio. By later tapping the ink, the smartpen replays the conversation from the exact moment the note was written. Notes and audio can also be uploaded to a PC where they can be replayed, saved, searched and sent.

Additional applications will be available for download from Some use handwriting recognition. For example, when a user writes a math problem, the smartpen interprets the writing, calculates the answer and speaks or shows it on the smartpen’s OLED display. When a user writes a word, the definition or even translation can be heard or seen. Other applications use pre-printed materials to bring paper to life.

Tapping a magazine ad, map, customer survey, or study guide instantly launches an application and enables interaction. Still other applications use the power of the Internet to let people broadly share and collaborate. Handwritten messages can be sent as emails. Animated, hand-drawn “movies” can be posted and shared online. Spoken messages can be recorded, linked with written notes and emailed directly from a notepad. Livescribe holds intellectual property around these and other paper-based computing solutions.

“The basic modes of human communication – reading, writing, speaking and listening – are enhanced by Livescribe with a completely intuitive, portable, low-cost tool,” said Marggraff. “A smartpen that captures your notes, records what you hear, solves your math problems, translates languages, and sends handwritten emails is extraordinary to experience. It is the harbinger of a new era of mobile computing.”

“The Livescribe platform takes paper-based technology to a radical new level, integrating software applications with physical paper,” said Rodney Brooks, Director of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. “I see the smartpen as just the beginning for a new class of device with almost unlimited potential.”

Livescribe is funded by VantagePoint Venture Partners and has an executive management team with deep experience from successful consumer technology companies such as LeapFrog, Palm, Apple and IBM. Marggraff is best known for inventing LeapFrog’s billion-dollar LeapPad platform and the award-winning FLY Pentop Computer. Joining him at the D conference are Chief Operating Officer Sasha Pesic and Chief Marketing Officer Byron Connell.

Anoto AB, inventor of optical pen technology and dot pattern, holds intellectual property that allows quick and reliable transmission of handwritten text from paper to digital media. Livescribe has licensed this technology for use in its smartpen and dot paper.