by Mielle Sullivan, Janus Networks
If you are not already familiar with it, the Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe, is a computerized pen with an infrared camera and digital audio recorder that helps you link audio to handwriting. Just tap on any note or drawing on the accompanying “dot paper” and the pen will replay the portion of the recording that was recorded when the note was written. Its one of the more practical gadgets on the market, and has been gaining press and users since its launch about a year ago.

As you can imagine, a large percentage of Pulse users are college students. “My Pulse smartpen has been invaluable to me in my classes, particularly my pre-med classes, where I need to take very detailed and accurate notes,” said Kal Shah, a junior at University of California Berkeley. “With my Pulse smartpen, I can pay more attention to what my professor is actually saying rather than scribbling down every single word. It’s also awesome to use when I’m studying for tests.”

Livescribe has taken the utility and fun of its pen one step higher by giving the Pulse a social media platform. Pulse users can post an image of their notes, along with the audio to either the Livescribe community or Facebook. If the author allows, users can even share other people’s notes with friends. The Livescribe community has ten categories of posted notes including academic notes, how-tos and art.

In order to further engage social media using college students, the company created a Facebook application called “Where are you going to college?”
The application is an interactive map that allows Facebook users to see who is going to their college, and what schools their friends are going to. Students can apply for the scholarship by putting their college on the map and writing a 140-character statement on how they plan to achieve in college. Students can submit their entries at

It’s always interesting when a brand can add a social media component to its features, but for the Pulse sharing seems particularly useful. Within private online groups, students can instantly compare notes and corporate teams can hone in on essential parts of a presentation. Public uses range from the sharing of sermons to political speeches in a more dynamic way.
By linking writing, audio, the web and community Pulse takes jotting into the 21st century.

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