This new Livescribe smart pen does something Apple left out of iPadOS 14

Eric Abent - Jun 23, 2020, 12:15pm CDT
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This new Livescribe smart pen does something Apple left out of iPadOS 14

It’s been a little while since we last heard from the folks at Livescribe, but today they’re back with a new smart pen. Dubbed Symphony, this new pen is unique not only because it can transcribe the notes you take digitally, but because those notes can be paired with audio that was captured at the time you wrote them down.

Obviously, though, the main draw of the Symphony is the fact that it can digitally transcribe those notes in the first place. According to Livescribe, Symphony can transcribe notes in as many as 27 different languages, and it can also capture drawings and mindmaps in addition to text. Users can upload that captured writing to a number of different cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneNote, and Evernote.

When used with the Livescribe+ app, you’ll be able to “play back” your notes so you can see how they were written down. “If there was a song playing in the background or someone speaking as you wrote, the Symphony links that audio to your digital text,” Livescribe said today. “Letting you relive those moments of inspiration again and again.”

The functionality sounds a lot like what we saw yesterday with the new handwriting features that are coming to iPadOS. Even then, it seems like the Symphony has a leg up on iPadOS in that it can capture audio and that it’s also self-contained – you don’t need an iPad to tap into the smart pen capabilities of the Symphony, you just need the pen itself and some of Livescribe’s paper.

It sounds like you won’t need to constantly sync the Symphony either, as Livescribe’s website says that it can store up to 1,200 A4 pages locally before those notes need to be synced. The Symphony, like all of Livescribe’s smart pens, can be used with the company’s dot paper, and apparently the battery that’s inside of the Symphony is good for 90 days of standby time.

Of course, a pen that can sync to the cloud and capture audio is going to cost a significant amount more than your standard ballpoint pen will, and if you want to own one of these Symphony pens, you’ll have to shell out $109.95. You’ll find the Symphony on offer at Livescribe’s website beginning today.


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