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Suggestion: partner with the folks at Neo Smartpen for tight integration

Rob Freundlich

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I got myself a Neo Smartpen N2 (http://www.neosmartpen.com/en) this week, and I love it.  Basically, It's a pen with a small camera in the tip - you write on their special paper, it transmits your strokes via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, and their app (Android or iOS) records them into an image.  The upshot is that you can take notes with pen and paper, and they end up in your device.  Very cool, and very useful.


Even better, it has the option to sync to Evernote.  The sync is pretty basic - each NeoNote notebook becomes a notebook under a specifically named stack in EN, and each page becomes a note.  You can edit the notes in EN (add text, tags, etc) and the embedded image will still update if you write more on the page.  However, you can't move them or rename them without breaking the sync connection between the two apps.  So it looks like they're doing a pretty basic integration via the EN API.


What would be amazing is if the folks at EN and the folks at Neo got together to produce a much tighter integration.  Some ideas I've had in the few days I've owned this device:

  • In Neo, let me specify which EN notebook a specific Neo notebook syncs into.  That's probably mostly on the Neo side.
  • Have the sync be in a format that lets EN work with the strokes in either Skitch or something else.  Maybe that means sending as SVG and EN making Skitch SVG-aware.  Or maybe it means making EN aware of the Neo format.  Or maybe Neo sends SVG and EN turns it into the same format it uses for its own handwritten notes.  This would, of course, make it impossible to sync any more changes from Neo.  But that's OK, because I envision doing this only once I've finished a note-taking session and now I want to mark up my notes by adding color, highlighting, and so on.
  • Super-duper integration: Neo could make an EN-branded pen that talks directly to EN instead of talking to their own app.  I'm not really interested in the Neo app, since I have EN, so why not cut out the middleman?

So, EN employees, what do you think?

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  • 11 months later...

Very good ideas, Rob!

But after a year, both, Evernote an Neolabs didn't work on that issues...
Your idea of a branded pen is realised by Moleskine...


So i hope that Evernote an Neo will work togethter, because the idea of a "digital" pen is good!


How does the transcribtion function work? Can you transcribe your notes easely into text?

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Within NeoNotes, the transcription function works OK, and you can than cut/paste the text into Evernote.  But the text doesn't auto-sync to Evernote - only the notes do, as an image.  Evernote's ability to index text within images works at that point, so you can at least search for text in the notes.

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