Your measly, little common pens are about to become insanely jealous. You may have warned them that smartpens were a comin’ but being the arrogant pens that they are, they simply taunted you with ink leaks and repeated trips to the stock cabinet.

Now, they’ll take notice. The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is showing it’s face and it’s nothing but computerific possibility wrapped in a chunky looking exterior. What’s even more interesting is the possibilities of using it in design applications, from graphics design to 3D product development.

We’re just seeing the beginning of these getting some more advanced functionality, but I’ve got no doubt they’ll be part of how we interface with paper and space in the coming years. Take a look.

By [this fall] you’ll be able to send notes via e-mail by just docking the pen to the computer and turn the pen and paper combo into a Wacom-like graphics tablet. Basically, you’ll be able to attach the pen to a computer via it’s micro-USB cable and just draw free hand on the screen. The latter option could be pretty awesome for designers and such. – Engadget

Here’s more goodness from the fine people at Engadget

End of Graphics Tablet near?

What would make this happen? To start, you have options for a 4GB and 8GB pen, featuring 400 and 800 hours of recording at $170 and $200, respectively. It has password protection and the ability launch computer applications. It also comes with built-in apps, like a dictionary, to help with whatever you’re working on. If these pick up steam, this is one step… or maybe two, away from smartpens coming in handy for digital design or secondary devices for touchscreen control.

We shouldn’t discount Wacom and other touchscreen and input manufacturers though. Wacom has a lot of interest in their product line. The one thing that would surely increase the cool factor for the tablets is a stylus that does what these smartpens are starting to do. We’ll watch what happens.

Engadget via Jason Corl who I hear is getting these retrofitted into his eyeballs. Thanks!


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.