Livescribe is building an ambitious house in a neighborhood that has seen a lot of foreclosures; Pulse will need to rewrite history to be successful in the traditionally challenged smartpen market. Indeed, between the time that the Pulse was announced and shipped, Logitech announced it was writing off the market for now. In addition to improving on note-taking, the company points to the reduced size of the Pulse as being less obtrusive than previous smartpens and thus more appealing to use. One of the keys to smartpen use is that it is less obtrusive than, say, a PC using Microsoft OneNote, which also has the ability to synchronize audio to written notes.
However, the Pulse's OLED display offsets at least some of the gains made toward discretion by shrinking the pen's girth. Worse, to get the full benefit of the Pulse's cool ability to resolve conversations in a room using 3D audio recording, you must wear earbuds that contain embedded microphones. It's hard to imagine something that could be more off-putting to a speaker than seeing an audience member wearing earbuds, and it would engender curiosity when that speaker notices that they are connected to a pen. Fortunately, the Pulse does a very good job of recording even without the earbud-based microphones.