Livescribe - Use and Reception

Use and Reception

From March 2008 through July 2010, Livescribe sold 400,000 . About thirty percent of the customers are college students, while the majority are professionals in fields such as journalism, law, or sales. Some universities issue Livescribe's products to students with learning disabilities to reduce the anxiety related to note-taking.

PC World rated the original Livescribe Pulse pen 93/100. A September 2011 review in the Associated Press compared the Livescribe Echo pen to an iPad for the purpose of note-taking and concluded that the Echo is "the best tool". Livescribe was named one of BusinessWeek's "Fifty Best Tech Startups" in June 2009. Awards earned by Livescribe include the Codie Award, the Editor's Choice Award of MacLife, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Emerging Tech Award.

Some users have noted that ambient noise can be a problem. The built-in microphone on the pen can pick up small amounts of noise from writing on paper, and adjacent ambient noise is often louder than a far away speaker. However, the included headphones have embedded microphones that reduce this ambient noise. (Headphones for the Echo must be purchased separately).

The smartpen's portable size and audio recording capabilities have led some people to question the ethics and legality of using the device. For example, in 2009, Delta Air Lines accused the manager of Atlanta's airport of using a Livescribe pen to illegally record a meeting of city and airline officials without their consent. The city of Atlanta concluded an investigation of this matter the following year and failed to find sufficient evidence that the airport manager intentionally sought to record the airline's private conversations. Livescribe urges its customers to "behave ethically and demonstrate common courtesy when it comes to personal privacy" as they would with common devices such as cameras and cellular telephones.

Some users have expressed frustration with the perceived lack responsiveness to requests for functionality improvements. Among the most requested improvements are the ability to print forms onto dot pattern paper and a day planner for use with the pen system. These requests began to surface soon after release of the pen system, however responses from the company are infrequent and tend to be perfunctory.

Despite repeated requests for the past several months, Livescribe has not provided integration with OneNote 2013.

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