Some bad news/good news regarding the forthcoming LiveScribe Smartpen that I had discussed in December. The bad news is that the pen will not be available in January as had originally been communicated, but now in March - although pre-orders are supposed to happen prior to then ($199 for 2GB model).
On the good news side, LiveScribe has released more detail about the Smartpen including technical specs, features and videos. The most newsworthy feature announced is the stereo recording capability which can be done via dual microphones built-in to the pen, or via earphone-based microphones. In the past I have talked about the value of stereo recording in user research. But microphones worn on the ears take this a step further, by allowing binaural recording, which is actually more veridical then conventional stereo. In other words, recordings made with microphones positioned on the ears will sound much more realistic in terms of sound space, relative loudness, etc., compared to two stereo microphones on the recording device itself - sort of the auditory equivalent of visual 3D. This definitely takes the pen further past the tipping point for me in terms of desirability.