When writing, you are making a visual recording of your thoughts. The Livescribe Pulse pen takes it a little bit further and makes a digital recording as well. Go to the next image to see how this smartpen works.
In order for this smartpen to make a digital recording, the pen uses an infrared digital camera. The camera is located just below the tip of the pen. Go to the next image to find out what else is needed to record.
Along with the camera, special paper is also required to document a visual copy. The special paper is covered in microscopic dots. As you move the pen, the camera records the positions of the dots on the page. You can also give instructions to the pen by tapping on specific parts of the dotted paper.
You can't have a pen without ink! The slim ink cartridge is located near the digital camera.
The recorded information moves through the pen's circuitry along a printed circuit board (PCB) and a ribbon cable. The pen can store the data in its memory, or it can connect to a USB dock to send the information to a computer.
The smartpen is also able to record sounds. A built-in microphone can pick up sounds and store them in the pen's memory. The microphone is the foam-like material on the left of the image. A speaker, the tiny dot beside the microphone, can play the sounds back.
To listen to your recording privately, plug your earphones into the earphone jack at the end of the pen.
How do you know if the pen is recording? This smartpen uses an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen to communicate with you.
Attached to the organic light-emitting diode screen is the second printed circuit board. This PCB's primary purposes are to power and feed information to the OLED screen.
The electricity required to perform all of the pen's functions comes from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. When the pen is in its charging dock, power travels down a USB cable, into the pen and through its circuitry to charge the battery.
The small, black square at the top of the pen is the power switch. This switch allows you to save the battery when you are just doodling on plain paper. To learn more, see How Ballpoint Pens Work.