First Podcasting, Now…….PenCasting?

May 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Podcasting, Podcasting Hardware, Podcasting Software, Video

Livescribe, creators of the Pulse smartpen, have announced a tool that turns your handwritten notes and audio recordings into Flash videos, called “pencasts,” that you can embed within any Web site or blog.

Publishing multimedia from your smartpen is a bizarre application of some bizarre technology, but it’s also some geeky ubiquitous computing fun!

Here’s an example pencast:

The Pulse smartpen is sort of a pen on steroids. The base version is $150, has 1GB of memory and can record 100 hours of audio. It comes with a recording headset, a USB dock and software to let you sync your audio and pencasts with your computer.

Pencasts are interactive Flash videos of handwritten notes and audio captured by the Pulse smartpen. To embed a pencast, individuals simply find a pencast on their My Livescribe page or the Livescribe Community, click “Embed this file” and then copy and paste the HTML into a Web site or blog.

Livescribe provides each Pulse smartpen user 250MB of free online storage to share pencasts either publicly or privately. In addition to embedding pencasts on Web sites or posting them on the Livescribe Community, individuals can share pencasts directly on Facebook (click here to see example), save their notes as a PDF file or export their recordings into an audio file.

Is there a future for smartpens and pencasting? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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11 Responses to “First Podcasting, Now…….PenCasting?”

  1. arjun says:

    If these were cheaper, they’d be pretty cool. $150 is too high, though.

  2. LearningNerd says:

    It’s a cool idea, but I wouldn’t buy it for that price either.

    Besides, for explaining things and sharing them online, just use a free screencast program like CamStudio, draw something on your computer screen using MS Paint or whatever else, record your voice, and you have the same thing! Someone even made a website that allows you to do that and called it “sketchcasting” — see

  3. Fred Zelders says:

    I think the name PenCasting is incorrect.
    One casts on paper and on … ? Not ON that pen but WITH that pen.

  4. Tech Gadget Lover says:

    Seems pretty cool but the price is high if the base model starts at $150. I would be curious to see how well the pen recognizes the writing or drawing for later playback. If it’s like my old PDA and Stylus I’d be pretty frustrated.

  5. Thank You..

  6. DavidNH says:

    I just got the one GB Pulse pen at Target this weekend. It’s amazing. I’ll agree the $150 price isn’t cheap, but when you see what the pen is capable of doing, the price is reasonable. The Livescribe Desktop application that comes with the pen is reasonably useful. It catalogs your writing and recordings, and most amazing, is searchable ! It does a reasonable job of recognizing my semi-cursive writing. Right now, there are almost no applications to go along with the Pulse, but any developer with an ounce of imagination should be able to see the possibilities the Pulse pen has. A calendar, and a day planner with alarms comes to mind immediately.

  7. garyb says:

    myscript transcribes the handwriting into editable text, and it is sync’d with the audio…brilliant!!

    now..can we switch out of flash so it will play on an ipod-Touch and iPhone????

  8. Smartpen,1GB of memory and 100 hours of audio.I think it's enough for me.$150 is suitable for me.
    I will bug one.

  9. This is very interesting, though $150 does seem a little high it does have it's possibilities. I think it would be very good for making instructional videos about how drugs work in the body.

  10. frasi says:

    this little pen can do wonders in a meeting. Just press record and take notes, it does all the dirty work for you.

  11. […] reflection to LiveScribe, which Kathy mentioned in the 2nd (or 3rd) class? After reading th article First Podcasting, now…pencasting? on the Podcasting News, I found it interesting that the imagination of “multimediacast” […]

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