We haven't heard much from Livescribe in the past couple years, but today, the company announced it's back with a next-gen smartpen, improved apps and an Office plug-in. Like past models, the streamlined Aegir smartpen lets you digitize handwritten notes. But this model is sleeker -- about the size of a traditional ballpoint pen -- and powered by new Livescribe+ apps for mobile and desktop. There's also a Microsoft Office plug-in that lets users to print any document with the Livescribe dot pattern. Notes made with an Aegir pen will be synced to the master document when the smartpen is connected to the computer.
Aegir can store 1,200 pages of notes before it's connected to the Livescribe+ mobile app, which can digitize handwritten notes as text, PDF, image or vector. The new app also brings additional features, like audio recording and the ability to tap anywhere on your notes to begin play back from that moment. Plus, the app lets users add tags and search for keywords. You can preorder the Aegir pens and download the Android app now, but you'll have to wait until May 15th to get the app on iOS and Windows Desktop Apps. It'll be available on macOS later this month.
We first wrote about Livescribe in 2007, when it looked something like a giant Sharpie and came with two microphones to record audio, as well as handwritten notes. In 2015, Livescribe partnered with Moleskine, but the company has been quiet in the last few years. Previously, our biggest gripe with Livescribe was that any convenience from being able to handwrite notes was lost as soon as you tried to get them into your note-taking or word processor of choice. If this new, sleeker version makes it easier to transfer notes, Livescribe might finally deliver the convenience it promises. Even then, there's no guarantee smartpens will ever really catch on.