Product Review: LiveScribe Pulse Smartpen

As I travel around Indiana and speak to different groups of people, I bring a handful of assistive technology with me to demonstrate different products in our loan library.  One of the most popular items is called the LiveScribe Pulse Smartpen.  It’s tagline is “Never Miss a Word” and you sure won’t if you are using this pen.

Here’s how it works – there is a tiny camera behind the ballpoint that captures what you are writing and where you are at on the page.  A microphone on the opposite end is listening to what is being said around you.

Let’s say you are in a classroom and the teacher is giving a lecture.  When you write, the pen records what the teacher says.  If you review your notes from the lecture later on and realized that you forgot to write something down, turn the pen on and press the ballpoint on the page wherever you were writing.  The pen will start to playback whatever was being said at the time.  That way, if you wrote that you have a test in March but forgot the date, you can hear it straight from your teacher!

Sarah wrties with the LiveScribe Pulse Pen
Sarah wrties with the LiveScribe Pulse Pen

Lots of people use this pen.  News reporters like it because they can focus on the person they are talking to rather than frantically writing notes.  Students like it because it helps them pay attention in class and realize what information they are not hearing while in a lecture.  Others like the technology and just enjoy using the pen.

The pen has other neat tools like a calculator and even a small keyboard so you can make your own music!  There are several styles of notebooks, memo pads, agendas and journals available.  The pen is available in the INDATA loan library, however there is a high demand for it.  You can purchase this pen at the manufacturer’s store, Target,, or Best Buy.

One comment:

  1. There are many AT applications of the Livescribe – Creating talking tests that students can listen to privately with earbuds, AAC applications, pencasts, etc. Livescribe’s Education page,, has links to videos and Sample Teaching Strategy Guide’s as well as a research paper by Dr. Andrew Van Schaack that shares applications for students with vision loss, AAC, etc.

    My Livescribe blog,, includes videos that show how to use and create talking tests, tactile talking tests, pencasts, make-up spelling tests, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *