How Does the Smart Pen Work?

The Pen's Construction

The Smart Pen is built with either a 1GB or 2GB flash memory capability. It also comes with stereo microphones placed on each side of the built-in Organic LED screen. The top of the pen holds the jack where the included headphones can be connected. The headphones are also stereo microphones while being worn with the added benefit of recording a 3D sound scheme—giving the wearer the ability to record everything around them. The tip of the pen contains the pen cartridge slot that holds ink pen tips or stylus tips. The pen is used with notebooks and journals that contain a special paper known as "dot paper." The company offers various packages of these materials for your use.

The Pen and Paper Connection

The association between the pen and the paper also deals with the pen’s ability to record audio with or without the headset while timing that recording with what you have written on the paper. This process is called ‘Paper Replay’ and is initiated by using the recording controls on the bottom of each page (in the spiral notebooks) or the controls across two pages (in the lined and unlined journals). When you have tapped the record button on the bottom of the page, the audio recorder begins recording. As you take notes, the pen lines up what you wrote with what was recorded at that same moment and does this until you stop the recording. After you have done this, and Paper Replay is turned on on the pen, you can then tap anywhere in your notes and the audio recording will start playing from that point. This is possible because each notebook is marked and identified by the infrared camera attached to the tip of the pen. Then, the pen reads the microscopic patterns on the dot paper which tell the pen what page you are on in that particular notebook or journal. While it does this the pen records your pen movements against the infrared patterns on the page and keeps track with audio while also recording in its memory your movements on the page. The pen will record drawings as well as written text.

Using the Pen With Your Computer

Once you have completed your notetaking or other writing, you then connect the pen to your computer using the included pen dock. The pen dock connects your pen to the computer and is used to remove and insert ink pen or stylus cartridges into the pen. It is also how the pen’s battery is charged. You will, after following the included instructions, already have the interface software, “Lightscribe Desktop,” installed on your computer. The pen connects and the software opens on its own by default. You can then browse the contents you have on your pen—the pages you’ve used in each stored notebook, the audio recording and how long it is. Lightscribe also offers storage space on their servers (250MB at this writing) and you can clear your pen by uploading the audio and pages off of it. The audio is in MP3 format, so it is very clear on playback.