Livescribe 3

Lead DesignerDan Harden
Prize(s)1st Place in Media And Home Electronics / Phone and Other Communications Technology
Entry Description

Livescribe 3 is a pen computer for digitizing handwritten notes and simultaneous audio recording. It transfers and digitizes your notes on your smart phone or tablet in real time, keeping them more organized. You can tag the note, convert it to text, add imagery, send it via e-mail, etc. It is a landmark product because it blends design and technology into an incredible useful communication tool. It combines all four modes of communication (reading, writing, speaking and listening) in the simple and convenient format of pen and paper.

Livescribe 3 looks and feels like a premium pen. Turn the central ring to withdraw the ballpoint pen, which also turns the unit on. Below the pen nib is a tiny camera that tracks what you are writing on the accompanying “dot paper”, allowing you to go back to a note later on, tap on it, and hear the audio recording from the exact time of writing the note (allowing for example a student to read their notes and re-listen to lectures simultaneously). Livescribe 3 is a unique analog-meets-digital device that offers unprecedented note-taking efficiency, organization, sharing and enhanced learning capability.

The elegant and streamlined design of the pen conceals an astonishing amount of technology. An infrared camera, ARM processor, Bluetooth Smart chipset, flash memory and lithium ion battery all work together to bring your notes to life digitally. Although it is packed with stunning technology, Livescribe 3 looks and feels more like a high-end pen as it combines new world technology and an old world writing instrument.


Whipsaw is an Industrial Design & Engineering consulting firm located in San Jose and San Francisco, California. Whipsaw focuses on innovative product design, UX, development and branding. Whipsaw creates products and experiences across many diverse categories including consumer electronics, housewares, medical, wearables, computing, scientific, industrial, and business products. Whipsaw’s clients range from large corporations like Avaya, Bosch, Cisco, Clorox, Ford, GE, Google, Haier, Intel, Leitz, Merck, Motorola, Nike, Olympus, Samsung, Sony, and TP-Link plus exciting startups like Apnicure, Avinger, Highfive, Livescribe, OM Signal and Sprimo.

The Whipsaw team has created hundreds of successful products for its clients. Our market hits include the Google OnHub, the original Google Chromecast, Nike+ FuelBand, Dell Precision computers, Livescribe smartpens, Dropcam security cameras, Eton emergency radios, the Adiri baby bottle, Cisco/Linksys routers, Yubo lunch boxes, Intel healthcare tablets, the Kaleidescape Cinema One, Leapfrog LeapPads, Roku TV boxes, Topcon survey equipment, and TP-Link networking devices.

Whipsaw has won over 240 Industrial Design awards including many IDEA, Red Dot, iF, MDEA, G-Marks, CES Innovations, and D&AD awards.

Fast Company magazine ranked Whipsaw among the Top 5 design firms in the world and honored Whipsaw CEO Dan Harden as one of the 100 most creative people in business.

Whipsaw’s creations are in the permanent collection at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.