Livescribe co-founder talks innovation

Livescribe co-founder talks innovation

How the computer in a pen stays ahead of its competitors

Livescribe's Pulse Smartpen can play back exactly what was said and when by pressing the pen to any place in your notes.

Livescribe's Pulse Smartpen can play back exactly what was said and when by pressing the pen to any place in your notes.

Not every company can take a mundane, everyday item and find a way to improve it. However, Livescribe managed to look at the humble biro and give it new life, producing a range of hi-tech pens with integrated voice recording and playback that are much loved by journalists and others.

Co-founder of the company, Sasha Pesic, spoke with CIO Australia about maintaining such innovation in a market overloaded by new gadgets and hi-tech devices, saying that the company needed drew upon the experience of its employees.

“We have a lot of DNA in our company that goes back decades,” Pesic said. “This notion of pen based computing has been around for some time now... one of the first companies was Go Computing 20 years ago, and our chief product officer is from Go and our chief marketing officer worked at Palm and Apple.”

Pesic said CEO of the company, Jim Marggraff, began playing with the idea of combining audio and text after his experience of developing a famous children's learning tool.

“Jim, our CEO, was the creator of LeapPad learning system,” Pesic said. “So in that instance you’re taking static art and making it interactive.”

Livescribe’s pens have been touted as some of the best gadgets available for digital nomads, allowing users to record a meeting while linking the audio to the notes written at the same time.

Pesic said that by viewing something as simple as a pen differently, Livescribe have been able to develop a new mode of communication.

“We really view your pen as a computer and your paper as a computer screen. It’s another capture device,” he said.

Livescribe is set to enable texting and tweeting from its devices; something that Pesic says is continuing to push the envelope in the innovation stakes.

“What this will be is a...device where you will be able to tweet from paper, or text from pen to pen — it brings up a whole new mode of communication,” he said.

“It’s about getting ahead of the curb and then communicating the message.”

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