The idea of paper-based computing (PBC) is rather simple, track what the user is doing on a paper and digitize the input. When you have the analog input digitized you can basically do whatever you like with. Livescribe has for a long time pushing PBC for a long time, starting with the “Pulse” which allowed paper based notes to be transfered to a computer in a digital format. Their next innovation, the “Echo” pushed the technology a little bit further and allowed the user to combine notes with voice annotations and  some limited digital interactions such as on-the-fly answers to simple mathematical formulas.

In a recent article on LiveScribe presents their latest innovation, a direct link between paper and screen. Now users can create and annotate physical documents and have the results showing up on the computer screen instantly. LiveScribe has developed an application that basically transforms pen and paper into an interactive tablet device.

LiveScribe Paper Tablet

Not only do I as an avid paper use find this really interesting (no more manual re-typing or scanning of documents), but I also think that it could be useful in the area of crisis management. A common problem in this field is that most people focus on “doing” and collaboration to handle the crisis and not much focus is put on documenting more then what is legally required. Most documentation is made on paper notes that usually makes little sense after the work has been completed. I belive that we could find much value in the material that is produced if notes could be more easily captured and timestamped, augmented with verbal comments and saved in a format that is easy to manage.  Livescribe CEO Jim Marggraff captures these thoughts as the core of their ideas.

“The essence of our business is the capture, access and sharing of written and spoken information”

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