Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017

The Smartpen: The Perfect Tech Gift for Your Dad

There is no doubt that our world is constantly evolving. In the grand scheme of things, humanity is always ready to not only adapt to its environment but also to adopt new technology and inventions that make life much easier.

The early humans thought it might be cool to etch rudimentary images that expressed various aspects of their reality, and from this the concept of writing was conceived. Later on. we thought it better to use feathers, then we ditched those for the pens and pencils we came to know and love.

The Age of the Smartpen

Our generation has taken the next step in this journey and introduced a new member to the family: the smartpen. Even as we embrace smartphones and tablets, writing with pen and paper seems to still be a deeply engrained part of our everyday lives. There is no denying the satisfaction that comes with using a pen to bring your thoughts to life on a piece of paper.

Smartpens are innovative writing tools that synchronize written notes and audio recordings. The notes are written on proprietary paper. A good example of a popular smartpen is the Livescribe Echo smartpen.

Seeing as smartpens are used to simultaneously jot down notes and record audio, students and professionals can use them at lectures and workplace meetings respectively. When revisiting the notes later, tapping on text on the paper with the tip of the pen will play the audio recording taken at the exact time that you wrote the text.

Easy as it is to use a smartpen, it is certainly not a simple tool. Using it might seem like the usual exercise of writing notes on paper. However, you are in reality making use of a high-tech multimodal computer with an OLED display, powerful processor, microphone, headphone jack, and micro-USB connector.

The Echo, for instance, is essentially a publishing platform on which 3rd-party Java-based applications are supported. A good smartpen should come with a storage capacity of about 2 GB or 4 GB and at least 300 hours of audio storage. Well-established smartpen vendors provide the smartpen, proprietary paper, accessories and supporting apps on major online stores.

Setting up your smartpen for the first time is usually a straightforward process that involves following the instructions that come with the packaging or on the website of the smartpen vendor. Most smartpens, such as those of Livescribe, come with software that allows you to organize your notes on the computer and share them if need be.

A menu button allows you to choose the time and date of the audio recording, as well as other settings such as the volume, playback speed and the quality of the sound. Once configuration is complete, all you need to do is switch it on at the beginning of a lecture, seminar, business meeting, etc. and start writing as the smartpen simultaneously records the audio.

The Perfect Gift for Dad

With all that in mind, it is clear that a high-tech smartpen is the perfect gift to get your dad, especially if he is a fan of tech and cool gadgets. Granted, there are a number of competing tech gifts that you might consider. But if he’s a real tech fan, he likely has all the common toys and gadgets, such as smartwatches, wireless earpieces, etc.

Whether you want to gift your dad on father’s day, on his birthday or for some achievement that he has made, you want to make sure that you get him something memorable, and you want it to be a real surprise.

What makes smartpens a perfect gift for your dad is that, compared to other tech gifts, it adds a twist in the sense that it offers high-tech features while still holding on to the long-standing art of recording thoughts using pen and paper. Your dad need not relinquish this satisfaction.

Well-established smartpen vendors typically provide smartpen software that can easily be integrated with popular note-taking software, such as Evernote. If your dad is an avid user of Evernote, for example, he can seamlessly add the functionality of a Livescribe smartpen, for example, without having to upend his entire system for organizing his notes.


In conclusion, while there may be numerous options for tech-based gifts you can get for your dad, a smartpen from a reputable and well-established vendor might serve him well, whether he is a full-on geek or he just has an affinity for cool gadgets. Important to keep in mind is the note-taking tools he currently uses, if any, in order to select a smartpen that easily integrates into it.

Author: Charlie Brown

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