This 'smart' pen works by combining two independent technologies:
1. A small infrared camera at the tip of the pen tracks a faint non-repeating dot pattern (known as the Anoto dot-positioning system) that is printed on paper*. This spacial referencing allows the pen to store a digital version of the notes internally, as well as on a computer after it has been connected with a USB to the pen dock.
2. The pen records audio and stores it within the pen, which allows all the digitized notes to become time-stamped. When put together, the notes on the page suddenly act as book-markers into tagged points in the audio track of the event. This creates an opportunity for visually oriented, non-linear notetaking.
*For more technical information on how the system works, check their website: www.livescribe.com
These notes can be identified by the
orange Play icon superimposed to the top right of the notes. Click
anywhere on your page of choice to play, and the play arrow transforms
into a full-screen option at the top while a control bar becomes
visible below. This provides, from left to right: play/pause and stop
buttons, an adjustable timeline bar, a volume control and a page
selector (roll over this icon and a numbered list of all pages included
in the document pops up. You can navigate these pages by clicking on
the various miniature pages).
Once you click on the page, you can watch the notes unfold linearly like a movie, or non-linearly navigate the page like a map by clicking on any of the lines, the timeline readjusts to the moment the mark was made). Although intuitive, there is a brief wait time at first that can cause users some confusion. Although the notes can be navigated non-linearly, they load like any embedded online movie: chronologically from start to finish. After your first click on the page, this load begins, and it completes soon after. You will not experience any wait time in your page navigation after the page has fully loaded.
I have used tags in a variety of ways to help organize the content so you can better find your way within the notes.