I’ve written about countless tech startups over the years, but only a handful have enough “cool factor” for me to discuss them with friends who typically roll their eyes whenever I talk shop. The latest in this limited pantheon is LiveScribe, which has closed a $22 million Series A round led by VantagePoint Venture Partners.
The Oakland-based company has basically bridged the paper-electronic divide for people taking notes during an audio presentation (lecture, meeting, interview, etc.). Its solution uses both a proprietary pen and paper, which uses visual sensors to sync up the audio and written word. Click the video below for an explanation.[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=DE-mnEdAf7g home=true]
LiveScribe also will let users automatically transfer the written notes to a computer. For example, notes could be wirelessly sent to email, or posted into a blog. The technology also includes such features as voice-to-text translation and calculation. Again, just damn cool.
The company had originally planned to begin selling its products online this quarter, but has now pushed the launch off to Q1 2008. Its smart pen will cost less than $200, while the paper “will be available at prices comparable to standard paper products.” Assuming that it works (always a big startup caveat), I’d expect LiveScribe products to become standard issue in newsrooms and college campuses. In fact, I may be one of the first in virtual line…
LiveScribe did not return a request for comment on the VC round close, which it has not yet announced.