[Athen] Alternate to Echo Livescribe pens

Shelley Haven shelleyhaven at techpotential.net
Sat Jan 30 15:07:33 PST 2021

> ...having difficulty with finding them on Amazon and the Livescribe site.

The Livescribe Echo has been discontinued – more on that at the end of this post.

> Has anyone found a similar note taking tool?

It depends on the feature set you’re looking for when referring to "Livescribe Echo smartpens". To me, the Echo has five primary features:

1) Record continuous audio
2) Capture handwritten notes
3) Automatically time-synch notes to the audio
4) Ability to upload audio and notes to another device (computer, tablet) for storage and/or manipulation (or do this within the tool itself)
5) All features housed in a single device or app.

The Livescribe Echo can do 1-5. The Livescribe 3, Aegir, and Symphony pens can do 2-4, but require a connected bluetooth device to do 1.

The Neo line of smartpens <https://www.neosmartpen.com/en/>, conceptually similar to Livescribe pens (capture anything handwritten on special "Ncode" paper in real time) can do 2 and the notes part of 4, but require a separate device (Neo RECO <https://www.neosmartpen.com/en/neosmartpenreco/>) to capture and synch to linked audio (1 and 3).

The Notability <https://www.gingerlabs.com/> iPad app can do 1-5 (plus a lot more), but of course you need an iPad and probably a decent stylus (Apple Pencil, Logitech Crayon).

AudioNote 2 <https://luminantsoftware.com/apps/audionote-notepad-and-voice-recorder/> is conceptually similar to Notability. (The macOS, iOS, and iPadOS versions work best.)

The desktop (not online) version of Microsoft OneNote can do 1-5, but for typed (not handwritten) notes. I’m not sure if it can also do 2 with handwritten notes when using a Surface tablet and stylus.

On a related note (no pun intended), I contacted Livescribe/Anoto recently to ask about the dearth of Echo pens. They confirmed my fears that:

> The Echo Smartpen is discontinued and Livescribe will no longer produce units for this smartpen.

But they quickly added some good news:

> However, we will continue to support any issues relating to the Echo smartpen and Echo Desktop software application until the launch of the Echo 2.

> We look forward to bringing you more updates on Echo 2. We do understand the need for a single unit that can handle all features and this is what the Echo 2 is expected to be.

I'm very pleased to hear that Livescribe/Anoto understands the Echo's major advantage over other smartpens of not needing to link to a separate Bluetooth device (one less thing to think about – important for those with learning challenges).

Hope this helps,
- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant
www.TechPotential.net <http://www.techpotential.net/>
www.AT4LD.net <http://www.at4ld.net/>

> On Jan 29, 2021, at 6:46 PM, Kluesner, Bryon <Bryon-Kluesner at utc.edu> wrote:


> Hi all,


> I was hoping to replenish my inventory of the Echo Livescribe pens but am having difficulty with finding them on Amazon and the Livescribe site. Has anyone found a similar note taking tool? I have some Glean licenses, digital recorders, and a few Echo pens, but am open to other suggestions. Some students use their phones and laptops, but I want to have some other available options, as we have difficulty attaining volunteer note takers.


> Thanks,


> Bryon


> Thanks,


> Bryon


> Bryon Kluesner, RhD

> Adaptive Technology Coordinator

> Disability Resource Center

> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

> 117 University Center

> Chattanooga, TN 37403

> 423-425-5251

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