The Pulse Smartpen is a digital voice recorder that captures audio while you write. If you hear a good comment, write down a keyword on the “smart” paper. It then becomes a trigger point for the recording. When you want to listen to that part of the recording, just tap the pen on the word and it plays back without you having to search for it.
Of course, this means the pen requires a special kind of paper to work. Livescribe calls it Dot Paper, as there are microscopic dots all over the writing page that the pen’s built-in infrared camera recognises. Since what you write has no bearing on the recording, other than setting a marker for the audio file, you can doodle, draw graphs or pretty much anything.
Add a camera (or an iPhone or any mobile phone with a camera and Bluetooth) to this and you can take pictures of your notes and almost instantaneously load them in to the iPad. Now you can email it, edit it and I’m pretty sure there will be some cool apps that pick out things like lines and boxes from your drawings so you can move them around.