Digital Pens That Take Productivity Beyond Paper

Digital Pens That Take Productivity Beyond Paper

These days writing tools let users do more than just take notes.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 27 june 2014

Pens these days are more than tubes of ink and plastic. The latest innovations in writing tools allow you to do much more than just scribble on paper.

Take the wireless Livescribe Sky WiFi smartpen, for example. It allows users to save written notes and audio recordings to their Evernote account. Users can also plug the high-tech pen into a PC or laptop via a USB cable to save their work.

Developed by Livescribe, leading designer and manufacturer of smartpens, the Sky WiFi smartpen records anything the user writes or hears and sends them wirelessly, allowing users to play back their notes on any device. Users can also tap anywhere on their notes to hear an audio playback from that moment in time.

The smartpen is designed to be used with Evernote where users can easily browse or search through their digitized notes. The digitized notes and audio are saved as interactive documents called pencasts, which presents the notes and audio exactly as they were recorded. Users can go back to old notes from days, months or even years ago. These functions would be very useful to journalists covering events or to anyone taking notes during lectures or seminars.


Other examples of innovative twists on the average pen include the LIX 3D printing pen, and the color-matching Scribble pen, which provides immediate digital swatches for the real world.

The LIX 3D printing pen is a small and lightweight tool that melts and cools colored plastic – allowing users to doodle in the air and create freestanding structures.

The Scribble pen has a 16-bit RGB sensor that allows it to recognize colors and then recreate it with a mixture of cyan, magenta, yellow, white or black ink. The pen basically lets users scan, match and compare colors, and then draw them on a piece of paper.


These are just a few examples of how a centuries-old technology is being infused with modern, digital functions. It makes one wonder what other overlooked things we use every day could be upgraded to be ‘smart’ and Internet-connected.


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